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Introduction to Modern Optics (Dover Books on Physics) [Paperback]

Grant R. Fowles , Physics
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1, 1989 0486659577 978-0486659572 2

This incisive text provides a basic undergraduate-level course in modern optics for students in physics, technology and engineering. The first half of the book deals with classical physical optics; the second principally with the quantum nature of light. Chapters 1 and 2 treat the propagation of light waves, including the concepts of phase and group velocities, and the vectorial nature of light. Chapter 3 applies the concepts of partial coherence and coherence length to the study of interference, and Chapter 4 takes up multiple-beam interference and includes Fabry-Perot interferometry and multilayer-film theory. Diffraction and holography are the subjects of Chapter 5, and the propagation of light in material media (including crystal and nonlinear optics) are central to Chapter 6. Chapters 7 and 8 introduce the quantum theory of light and elementary optical spectra, and Chapter 9 explores the theory of light amplification and lasers. Chapter 10 briefly outlines ray optics in order to introduce students to the matrix method for treating optical systems and to apply the ray matrix to the study of laser resonators.
Many applications of the laser to the study of optics are integrated throughout the text. The author assumes students have had an intermediate course in electricity and magnetism and some advanced mathematics beyond calculus. For classroom use, a list of problems is included at the end of each chapter, with selected answers at the end of the book.

Frequently Bought Together

Introduction to Modern Optics (Dover Books on Physics) + Schaum's Outline of Optics
Price for both: $28.05

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Physics
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; 2 edition (June 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486659577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486659572
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fowle's classic still covers the basics 25 years later September 27, 2001
This is a classic introductory text on optics, that is still my first choice recommendation when people ask me for a reference to bring them up to speed on optics, optical phenomena and optical devices. It is concise, readable, and not over-rigourous; perfect for people new to the field who need to "come up to speed". Although there has been a spectacular growth in optics and photonics in the last 25 years, the fundamentals one needs to work in the field have not changed that much, and Fowle's text covers the optical bases well, from polarization to interference to lasers to non-linear optics; it's all here in a condensed readable format.
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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're studying optics in a college class using Hecht's classic text, or if you are an engineer who needs an overview of the subject, this is a good practical and economical introduction to the subject. However, be aware that this book is short on two components - details of derivations of mathematical formulas and illustrations. That is not to say they do not exist, it is just to say that at several points during the book I could have been aided in my comprehension by either an illustration or derivation that simply wasn't there.

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
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Text March 26, 2006
I was fortunate to have a physics professor use this text in his undergrad class. At the time, I considered optics as a mere curiousity. Well, I enjoyed the book and course enough to continue with the subject, eventually getting a PhD in Optical Physics. Never regretted it. I still rely on Fowles as a frequent reference, especially when deriving Fresnel eqns from Maxwell's eqns, solid state refresher, and intro to quantum theory.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent, economical book for optics May 10, 2006
I bought this book while taking an optics course using Hecht's Optics 4th ed. I found Fowler's book to be fairly useful, especially since I got to see optics from two different perspectives. The one really good thing about this book is it's price, and makes it a good reference book. The downside is that since it's quite short, it doesn't cover everything, moves fairly fast, and has no examples. For the price I paid, however, I am quite satisfied.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a little gem - and it costs next to nothing.

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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in its class June 12, 2008
By Will H
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an easy 5 star. For those who gave it less, please think again:
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...
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There Are Superior Books! April 9, 2004
This book by G.R. Fowles sufficies for one or two all-nighter studying sessions where a massive review of physical optics is needed.
The advantages to the book are that it is concise and attempts to cover a small fraction of the mathematics behind physical optics. Yet, there are some mistakes, such as an incorrect presentation of the forward Fourier Transform in the first chapters.
As far as the explanations and motivations for modern theoretical and applied optics, this book does not compare to "Optiks" by Born and Wolfe.
In essence, the books by Born or Hecht make this book the 'engineers reference' in the world of academia.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Note the pre-requisites
Not the most basic book for optics. It *does* state up front that you have to have knowledge of Maxwell's Equation and basic physics.
Published 10 months ago by Neko
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Optics
It is a tiny book that has what it need to kick start any introductory course on modern optics and waves. The questions are suitable for average students. Read more
Published 12 months ago by S.A.A.LM
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book
This book is pretty well written and really help you understand the materials better. This book is pretty well organized and very easy to follow
Published 17 months ago by zentriton
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Intro Optics book!
I used this text and Hecht's "Optics" for a fourth year undergraduate course focusing mainly on classical optics. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Alex
2.0 out of 5 stars Introductory text fails to illuminate
As a student taking optics for the first time this text is rather opaque. It cannot hold a candle to modern physics texts which are full of the illuminating examples this lacks. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Nick
5.0 out of 5 stars Many much learnin' from this Dover book.
I have really enjoyed this book so far. It is a good read and still useful for any advanced student interested in related topics to read.
Published 24 months ago by bholinsw
5.0 out of 5 stars exactly as described
The book came with no writing or any damage of any kind. It was exactly as it was described at a good price.
Published on January 19, 2012 by SliperyNinjaOnATiger
5.0 out of 5 stars recession-friendly intro or reference text to optics
I picked up this book from a bookstore sales rack. Incredible value for the amount of information it contains. Good overview of underlying principles of optics and applications.
Published on May 22, 2011 by Abstractist
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but...
This book is a great refresher, but I find it lacking in readability. It often omits important details, and too quickly comes to mathematical conclusions. Read more
Published on February 13, 2011 by A M
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book
A decent Optics book. Not heavy on derivations, but to each his own. Very dense, great for accompanying another text, but for a first learner, maybe not the best choice.
Published on December 9, 2010 by Michael C. Hollowed
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