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Introduction to Modern Optics (Dover Books on Physics) Paperback – June 1, 1989

ISBN-13: 978-0486659572 ISBN-10: 0486659577 Edition: 2nd

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Introduction to Modern Optics (Dover Books on Physics) + Schaum's Outline of Optics
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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: #20,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
I picked up this book from a bookstore sales rack.
Abstractist
I highly recommend this text to anyone who wants an easy reference or a learning text for basic optics.
Alex
This book is a great refresher, but I find it lacking in readability.
A M

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 73 people found the following review helpful By J. McWhirter on September 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
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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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
2.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By DonnaChang on March 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
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 By Joey Pittman on May 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
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 By R. G. W. Brown on July 11, 2007
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 By Will H on June 12, 2008
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 By IB on April 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
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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