The following animations were generated with WebTOP by Dr. John T. Foley, Mississippi State University, (WebTop Website)

  1. Waves at an Interface, (2:46)
  2. P- and S-Polarized Reflection and Transmission (1:21)
  3. Polarization, (1:24)
  4. Polarizers and Wavesplates (2:11)
  5. Waves at a Double Boundary (1:01)
  6. Fraunhofer N-slit (1:33)

Harold Stokes also maintains several nice animations of optical phenomena here.

The following animations illustrate various properties of optical pulse propagation in dispersive systems

  1. Two plane waves propagating independently on the top, and their sum on the bottom. Illustrates group velocity with normal dispersion. 
  2. Illustration of group velocity with anomolous dispersion (negative group velocity).
  3. Illustration of group velocity with anomolous dispersion ("superluminal" group velocity). 
  4. A pulse chirping as it propagates in a dispersive medium. 
  5. A pulse reflecting from a grating. The plot on the left shows intensity, the plot on the right is Poynting vector direction. 
  6. A pulse traversing an absorbing medium and then an amplifying medium, both specially chosen to illustrate pulse reshaping effects that can make the peak of a pulse is travelling faster than c. (No information transfer is possible at this speed) See the following reference: Phys. Rev. A, 49, 2938-2947 (1994).
  7. A pulse traversing an amplifying medium specially chosen so that the peak moves faster than c. Again, the peak of the incoming pulse is not causally related to the peak of the outgoing pulse. The energy stored in the medium must at least equal the red line shown in the green medium. 
  8. Superluminal Propagation in an Absorbing Medium
  9. Superluminal Propagation in an Amplifying Medium

John Colton made some nice illustrations: