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Modern Optical Engineering, 4th Ed. 4th Edition

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071476874
ISBN-10: 0071476873
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Warren J. Smith (Carlsbad, CA) is Chief Scientist at Kaiser Electro-Optics and an independent consultant. He is one of the most widely known writers and educators in optical design, the author of three editions of Modern Optical Engineering, as well as Modern Lens Design and Practical Optical System Layout.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 764 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 4 edition (December 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071476873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071476874
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Steve Eckhardt on March 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've worked as a lens designer for 30 years. In that time, many people have had questions about lens design. If I was unable to answer the question in an hour or less, I would hand them a copy of Modern Optical Engineering. Warren Smith did the industry a tremendous favor by writing this book and updating it every so often.
The book starts with a four chapter overview of first order optics: cardinal points, image position and size, paraxial ray tracing and so on. The next two chapters introduce optical aberrations. Although all of the different ways of describing aberrations (transverse, longitudinal, angular and wavefront) are mentioned, Smith focuses on transverse. Readers specifically interested in the wavefront formulation would be advised to refer to Welford's "Aberrations of Optical Systems" or Kidger's "Fundamental Optical Design". The next few chapters provide valuable information for lens designers, but it's hard to summarize them as a unit. Included in this group is Chapter 9. Stops, Apertures, Pupils and Diffraction, to which I've referred more people than any other.
With the background covered, Chapters 13 starts the main section of the book on how to go about designing lenses. Had Smith taken the time to do a more thorough rewrite, rather than primarily adding chapters, this section could have been more cohesive, but it is good enough as it is. Chapters 13 and 14 cover optical system layout. They are followed by a chapter on Wavefront Aberrations and MTF that was called "Image Evaluation" in earlier editions. This chapter is critical for understanding how well a lens design will perform. Chapters 16-18 walk the reader through the process of lens design, giving a number of examples.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Keith Forsyth on September 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Without doubt, this is the best general survey of optical engineering, in or out of print. The book shows both the author's broad experience as well as his ability to apply theory to practice and then tell others how to do the same. The book is far superior in its selection of topics and in its clarity and accuracy of presentation to the alternatives. This is definitely an optical ENGINEERING book, not an Optics 101 text for undergraduate physics students. The book is useful for engineers or scientists from other fields who need to learn some optics, and for experienced practitioners who need a reference and refresher on particular topics. To cite one example of the book's reliability, suppose you wish to use the Planck function to estimate how much optical power you can couple into an optical fiber from a quasi-blackbody source such as an incandescent filament. Smith's version of the Planck function is dimensionally correct and will give you the quantitatively correct answer, and his treatment of the Lagrange invariant will teach you the right way to think about the problem. Neither of those things is true of most of the alternatives. The book is focused mainly on image-forming optical systems, and only skips lightly over topics such as optical fibers and coherent beam propagation. Nevertheless, if you only buy one engineering book on optics, this should be it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin C on June 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Look, the joker who says this is a High School level text is dead wrong. Having been in the field for 10 years now and with a degree in optics, I tell you this is a very good text. No one book can make you a good engineer in any discipline, but lots of books help. The folks I know who are seriously involved in optics, all have this book. No one book is the bible of optics. Problem with "engineers" nowadays....not a broad enough background in engineering in general or even in their specialized. Know your basics, get lots of books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ExtremeAO1 on October 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Kindle version of this book blows. It's hard to navigate and the index becomes completely useless because there are no page numbers. You end up having to use the search tool to find what you're looking for and the results are all over the place!
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