- Hardcover: 820 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (August 3, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470402296
- ISBN-13: 978-0470402290
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.8 x 10.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Building Electro-Optical Systems: Making It all Work 2nd Edition
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There are many things I like about this book. Here are a few that come to mind: a) When explaining why a specific device or approach should be employed, an intuitive explanation is always given, rather than sole reliance on equations. b) The author can be counted on to warn readers about obvious pitfalls that are usually learned the hard way. For example, the last handful of bits in a 24 bit Sigma Delta ADC are typically useless, transimpedance amplifiers can push noise out to high frequencies, and metal film resistors are generally best to use over other types. c) The author has a lot, a lot of good tricks he's learned over the years: For example, a flashlight is an excellent shot-noise-limited light source. d) As the author points out, most people who design electronics are not necessarily experts in optics. The author however is an expert in both, and this expertise is apparent in his designs of integrated systems for laser noise cancelling, etc. e) The author gives lists of his favorite op-amps, BJTs, etc. f) The text is written in a relaxed, colloquial fashion and can at times be fairly humorous.
I have a very few complaints about this book. My biggest complaint is that the current edition (sold here) does not have the useful "Rules of Thumb" (e.g. Johnson noise of a 60.4 Ohm resistor is 1 nV/Hz^(1/2) at 300 K, photocurrent shot noise is equal to Johnson noise when the terminating resistor drops 50 mV, etc.) printed on the inside cover, as did previous editions.
Overall, this is the most useful book I've encountered as a scientist in my field and I consistently recommend it to my colleagues. Their feelings on this book are similar to mine.
Reading this book can save you countless hours in both debugging any experiment and in improving experiments to optimize performance/speed so that everything goes much faster.
Just about any problem faced in our experiment has already been thought of in great detail by Hobbs and he makes it very clear and intuitive why certain design choices are correct and why other ones will lead you down dangerous paths.
I highly recommend that this book be included in the personal collections of any experimentalist/engineer.