Good book for undergrad optics

In summary: Hecht is a difficult book to follow for someone who is not used to mathematical notation and complex physics concepts. It is also very dense, requiring a lot of background in physics before starting. If you are confident in your ability to deal with difficult material, I would suggest picking it up, but be prepared to have to work very hard.In summary, OP is a high schooler starting grade 11 this year and is struggling with a difficult optics class. He recommends an introductory textbook, Hecht, and an accompanying low cost introduction to modern optics, Fowler.
  • #1
narayan.rocks
38
0
Iam a high schooler starting grade 10 this year . i have been reading undergrad texts for some time now . i need a good book for OPTICS . any ideas or suggestions
 
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  • #2
Try Optics by Hecht. Easily available in Low Price Editions by Pearson.
 
  • #3
I suggest an introductory textbook if you are only a high schooler. Hecht is for those who already have taken an introductory sequence in physics which generally covers mechanics, E&M, and Waves and Optics. It also assumes a knowledge of vector calculus and differential equations. An introductory text such as Halliday or Tipler along with a supplement such as Vibrations and Waves by A.P. French will be sufficient.
 
  • #5
thank you everyone for your help .
 
  • #6
I would agree that Hecht might not be the best choice for you right now. My optics class is using it and it's giving me a headache and I've taken intro physics sequence and Calc I - III. You might want to look more for a chapter out of a good introductory physics book... We used Young and Freedman University Physics https://www.amazon.com/dp/080532187X/?tag=pfamazon01-20

Good luck!
 
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  • #8
jbrussell93 said:
I would agree that Hecht might not be the best choice for you right now. My optics class is using it and it's giving me a headache and I've taken intro physics sequence and Calc I - III.

Can you go into detail of why this book is giving you trouble? I ask because there is a possibility that I might have to take my Optics class from the physics department instead of the EE department and I know they use this book.
 
  • #9
how about this narayan!
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=666536
 
  • #10
Pedrotti and Pedrotti, "Introduction to Optics" (I guess now it's in its 3rd edition) is a good starting point if you prefer a simple exposition. What I liked most of this book is its cleanliness. It gives a fairly basic introduction and is a good starting point for moving to more 'complete' texts, like Guenther's and Hecht.

Also, you might want to consider an accompanying low cost introduction to modern optics: I believe no book can beat Fowler's "Introduction to modern optics" (published by Dover, it's really cheap), a masterwork of synthesis and clarity. Do check it out, it's worth ten times its price.

Edit: Just checked out Fowler price: at 10 bucks it's worth twenty times its price.
 
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  • #11
thanks everyone for their suggestions...:smile:
 
  • #12
DrummingAtom said:
Can you go into detail of why this book is giving you trouble? I ask because there is a possibility that I might have to take my Optics class from the physics department instead of the EE department and I know they use this book.

Well, some of the trouble I'm having has to do with the class itself... It is the professor's first time teaching the course and he is very unorganized and jumps all over the book. Also, I've only just finished the intro physics sequence so I'm used to having my hand held through each chapter, and I'm not as comfortable with some of the mathematical notation such as complex manipulation of sinusoids. So keeping this all in mind...

Now to the actual book itself. There are absolutely no example problems as you are working through the chapters other than the problems at the end of each chapter. Some of the problems have worked out solutions in the back which helps but I would suggest getting getting the schaum's outline for optics. It goes along nicely with this book and has plenty of extra problems worked out. It has helped me tremendously...
 

Related to Good book for undergrad optics

1. What is the best textbook for learning undergraduate optics?

The best textbook for learning undergraduate optics depends on your individual learning style and the specific course curriculum. Some popular options include "Introduction to Optics" by Frank L. Pedrotti, Leno M. Pedrotti, and Leno S. Pedrotti, "Fundamentals of Optics" by Francis A. Jenkins and Harvey E. White, and "Optics" by Eugene Hecht. It is recommended to consult with your professor or academic advisor for their recommendations.

2. Is there a particular edition or version of the textbook that is recommended?

The recommended edition or version of the textbook may vary depending on the course curriculum. It is important to check with your professor or academic advisor for their specific recommendation. However, in general, it is recommended to use the latest edition or version as it will likely have the most updated information and may include additional resources or practice problems.

3. Are there any online resources or supplementary materials that can accompany the textbook?

Yes, many textbooks for undergraduate optics have online resources or supplementary materials available. This may include practice problems, interactive simulations, and video lectures. It is recommended to check with the publisher or author's website for any accompanying materials. Additionally, your professor or academic advisor may have specific recommendations for supplementary materials.

4. Is it necessary to have a strong background in math or physics to understand the textbook?

While a strong background in math and physics can be helpful in understanding the concepts in an undergraduate optics textbook, it is not always necessary. Many textbooks provide a thorough introduction to the mathematical and physical principles needed to understand optics. However, it is important to have a basic understanding of algebra, trigonometry, and calculus to fully comprehend the material.

5. Can this textbook be used for self-study or is it better suited for a classroom setting?

The suitability of a textbook for self-study depends on the individual's learning style and dedication. Some textbooks may be more conducive to self-study with clear explanations and practice problems, while others may be better suited for a classroom setting with additional resources and guidance from a professor. It is recommended to consult with your professor or academic advisor for their opinion on the suitability of the textbook for self-study.

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