Title: Display Fundamentals

Faculty: Cambridge University Engineering Department

Department/School: Photonics and Sensors Group

Aims: The purpose of this module is to cover the fundamental concepts of Physics and Engineering that are critical to modern display research and development. The module is intended to fill in necessary gaps in the fundamental concepts behind display technologies.

Learning outcomes: On completion of this module, the students should be armed with the tolls required to understand the fundamental concepts behind display technology. Through a combination of lectures, structured coursework and simple lab exercises, a knowledge of the basic display background material will be gained. This includes:

Fundamentals of Optics
Radiometry and Photometry
Modulation transfer function and resolution
Colour Theory

Overall course contents

Fundamentals of Optics

Basic theory


Refractive optics




Contrast ratio

Radiometry and Photometry

Basic theory


Lambertian surfaces & Photometry

Modulation transfer function and resolution

Classical approaches

Matrix display MTF systems

Colour Theory

Colour in displays and display systems

Primary references

Hecht, ‘Optics’
Smith and King, ‘Optics and Photonics’
McCluney, ‘Introduction to radiometry and photometry’
PJG. Barten, ‘Display Image Quality Evaluation’, SID Applications Seminars, 1995, ppA-5/1-40
CS. Williams and OA. Becklund, ‘Introduction to the optical transfer function’

Delivery mode: Face to face, with structured coursework

Duration / Period of teaching: During the summer

SCOTCAT Credit rating: Equivalent to a standard 12 lecture course.

Pre-requisites / co-requisites: None

Prohibited Combinations: None.

Assessment: Class Exam. 50%, Degree Exam. Assessed Coursework 50%

Examinations: 2 hour exam at the end of the course

Exemption scheme: None

Module leader/co-ordinator: Dr. T.D. Wilkinson

Dept of Engineering
Trumpington St
Cambridge, CB2 1PZ
Tel 01223 339709
Fax 01223 765268
Email tdw@eng.cam.ac.uk