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Introduction to Modern Optics (Dover Books on Physics) 2nd Edition
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There are end of chapter exercises included, and there are solutions to selected odd problems in the back of the book. However, there are no details as to how those solutions were arrived at. If you are an engineer, the only way to really be sure that you understand a subject is to solve problems. Thus I suggest Schaum's Outline of Optics by Hecht for that task. Often the solutions to problems in that outline are the mathematical details that are missing in this book!
The table of contents are not included in the product description, so I add that here:
Chapter 1 The Propagation of Light
1.1 Elementary Optical Phenomena and the Nature of Light
1.2 Electrical Consants and the Speed of Light
1.3 Plane Harmonic Waves. Phase Velocity
1.4 Alternative Ways of Representing Harmonic Waves
1.5 Group Velocity
1.6 The Doppler Effect
Chapter 2 The Vectorial Nature of Light
2.1 General Remarks
2.2 Energy Flow. The Poynting Vector
2.3 Linear Polarization
2.4 Circular and Elliptic Polarization
2.5 Matrix Representation of Polarization. The Jones Calculus
2.6 Reflection and Refraction at a Plane Boundary
2.7 Amplitudes of Reflected and Refracted Waves. Fresnel's Equations
2.Read more ›
It's a beautifully concise and remarkably clear introduction to the main principles of modern optics - the ones that you are going to need over and over again as you continue into the subject.
This book gives you a great overview and set of basic foundations for every-day modern optics. I return to it often for little insights and reminders, even after 37 years in the business.
1) Title says: introduction. So don't imagine it covers every equation there is. Get Wolf's book if you like equations that much.
2) Short but concise on key subjects. To do that, you have to skip a lot of intro/background or equations, that's why there are references and citations (and better bricks/bug killers).
3) This is an intro book but also serves well as a refresher. This is intermediate level to advanced level for non-physicists, as it assumes good understanding of calculus.
To be fair, the book is not without flaws. One obvious is the name implied recent advances (although different people use modern optics differently), while the book was last revised in 1975. Nonetheless, the key component of modern optics are mostly there, unless you are into cutting edge advances. It might be more appropriate to name it as "intro to physical optics", then again the author added a section of ray optics at the end of the book...
I found this book incredibly nice to read, with concise explanations that contain the proper amount of detail for both veteran readers and complete newbies (such as myself). The author doesn't bog the reader down with equations and long derivations, but he explains clearly how one step leads to another, allowing the reader to quickly fill in the details of the derivations, a perfect compromise for all audiences: those new to the field can learn by doing, yet with the proper guidance to prevent the process from being too frustrating, and experienced readers needing a refresher can merely read the results. Figures are well-placed and especially helpful, and notation is clear and not needlessly complicating.
I highly recommend this book. Its value can't be denied; however, I'm certain that the book would compare favorably with other books costing several times more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really liked this book. It presents a really simple approach to optics and reads really well.Published 3 months ago by Kam Domber
This book is more at less good, but the Seller is not good.Published 6 months ago by Nestor Julio Matos Ureña
It's a nice rather comprehensive (if not deep) reference on all things optics. a good book to have for any optics physicist.Published 13 months ago by jfizzix