- Hardcover: 680 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 4 edition (August 12, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805385665
- ISBN-13: 978-0805385663
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 68 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Optics (4th Edition) 4th Edition
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The Amazon Book Review
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From the Back Cover
Accurate, authoritative and comprehensive,Optics, Fourth Editionhas been revised to provide readers with the most up-to-date coverage of optics. The market leader for over a decade, this book provides a balance of theory and instrumentation, while also including the necessary classical background. The writing style is lively and accessible.For college instructors, students, or anyone interested in optics.
Top customer reviews
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I DO however recommend his Schaum's outline Schaum's Outline of Optics which is very useful to give you practice. I prefer Fowles book Introduction to Modern Optics (Dover Books on Physics) which is at the same level although there are fewer algebra steps shown.
Actually, I'd personally recommend Guenther's book Modern Optics instead of this one if you really wanted a modern dive into an old subject.
The text itself is fine and probably the same as the original textbook. The problems seem like standard Optics problems I would expect in a textbook, although my professor claims that the problems are too easy (which I can agree with).
However, there are too many differences with this and the official version. I don't know why this is being sold on Amazon, or what publisher decided that it would be a good idea to make changes between this version and the original version.
What I mean is, Hecht gets side tracked too much. It's like this: I start talking about the double-slit experiment. Then I remember guy A did something on it, so start talking about the brief history about that. Then I remember that guy A wrote a letter on the material. So I talk about that letter and insert an excerpt from it. Then I also insert a letter from guy A to guy B in the field. So let's talk about that, too. (I'm over exaggerating a bit, but that's how it feels when you read read this book.)
All the people that I talked to in my optics class thought the same thing. For a reader who just wants the physics and not the trivia and numerous paragraphs on really, really minor details, this book is a displeasure to read. I think the book is a course textbook + encyclopedia hybrid. It is not as concise as a well-written course textbook, but also not as detailed as as full-blown encyclopedia. It is neither here nor there.
I feel like the book is written for the stereotypical whiny student who, when sitting in the class goes, "But teacher, why do I need to learn this? This is so pointless. When will I ever even use this in real life?" So Hecht inserts many examples to convince you that "See, this physics is actually used in real life!" Examples are good, but when you throw in too many examples you increase the length of the chapters without adding much foundational understanding of the physics.
Use the book to get the essential physics that is sprinkled in the chapters, but learn how to skip the parts that are random facts and the book will work fine.