Visual Optics is an interactive course, designed for teaching optics to others and yourself.

The course is based on a discussion of

  • optical constants
  • wave propagation in materials
  • reflection and transmission of light waves at interfaces
  • ray optics
  • thin film optics

Many interactive pages let you play and find out what happens if a property changes. This leads to an intuitive understanding of the interaction of light with matter.

VisualOptics demonstration video (select HD for best quality) 


The optical properties of typical metals, semiconductors and transparent oxides and nitrides are shown.


Having covered wave propagation fundamentals, the course then turns to technical applications of thin films. The function of

  • anti-reflection coatings
  • transparent conductive layers
  • thin film solar cells
  • thermal absorber coatings
  • glass coatings for windows
  • optical filters

are discussed using many live examples. The learner can interactively change parameters and instantly watch the consequences for the performance of the coating product.

Visual Optics uses the commercial thin film analysis and design software CODE in the background. This way we can work with powerful, realistic examples in this course in real time.

The course is ideal training for beginners in optical engineering. After a few hours of self-teaching you will develop a feeling for thin film optics. The Visual Optics experience will influence your working style and speed up your success in thin film optics.


Physics teachers can use Visual Optics to enrich their classical electrodynamics lectures with live graphs and modern applications.

The course helps thin film companies to tell new employees, operaters and managers what thin film optics is all about, and how their own products really work. For this purpose the course contains ready-to-use presentations.

Visual Optics runs on any Windows platform.


VisualOptics complete download 
(download size about 150 MB, last update: 2016-6-2)
You will get a file which contains a VisualOptics folder. Copy the complete VisualOptics folder to your PC, our recommendation is directly to c:.
Then start the executable visualoptics.exe. Since you do not have a license file yet, the program will ask you if you want to search for it. Answer ‘No’ – in this case the software will generate an activation file and show you where to find it. Please send this file to us by e-mail (theiss at
We will return a license file called visualoptics_passport.wtp.
Finally copy the passport file to the VisualOptics folder and start the executable visualoptics.exe once more. It will inform you about a movement of the passport file and then (hopefully) start-up normally.

With a right mouse-click on the executable visualoptics.exe Windows Explorer shows you options to attach links to the start menu or the task bar.

VisualOptics program download 
(download size about 15 MB, last update: 2016-6-1)
You will get a file which contains the VisualOptics program file visualoptics.exe. Copy the file to your VisualOptics folder to update the software.