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Classical Good Optics Book?

  1. Apr 8, 2017 #1
    Hey does anyone have an Undergraduate Upper-Division level optics book they like? Maybe one that describes the concepts well? I am a graduating senior, last physics courses I'll take as an undergrad and our assigned book isn't well written. Appreciate any help, thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2017 #2


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    What level of optics are you taking? Are you an optics major, or something else?
  4. Apr 8, 2017 #3
    This is an upper division undergraduate level course and it is a requirement for my degree in astrophysics. So no, not an optics major, but I have already taken all physics undergraduate core classes required for the degree. Thanks for your help!
  5. Apr 8, 2017 #4
    I like Modern Optics by Guenther supplemented by Fowles classic and Hecht's Schaums outline.

    Hecht book is okay but very verbose which is probably something you will not need if your enrolled in a course. Volume 1 of the Optics Handbook is also very good.
  6. Apr 8, 2017 #5


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    What is the assigned book, so people don't embarrass themselves by recommending it? :eek:
  7. Apr 9, 2017 #6


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    The one recommended during my undergraduate studies was Principles of Optics by Born & Wolf.
    I even used that book for the upper level albeit still undergrad EM course when we dealt with penetrating EM fields in dissipative media (like real metals, with non infinite conductivity). Definitely at a higher level than Hecht's.
  8. Apr 10, 2017 #7
    Born and Wolf is usually a graduate optics book. I have a copy. I once had Wolf for a professor, a long time ago
  9. Apr 10, 2017 #8


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    Born&Wolf is the first book about optics that comes to my mind. I also love Sommerfeld, Lectures on Theoretical Physics, vol. 4 (Optics). Although it's pretty old, it's still a very good source.
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