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Optics undergrade text books

  1. Apr 28, 2008 #1
    I am woundering about good undergrade text books. I have no clue where to start. Can anybody inform me on prefured authers for eather undergrade or grade level optics books?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2008 #2


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    There aren't any good optics text books.
    Hecht - the nearest to a good book, but only useful for modern optics (laser/fibre/diffraction) readqable but no good as a reference.
    Born and Wolf - nobody can understand this, you look the answer up somewhere else and put the B+W reference to sound clever.
    Jenkins+white - on it's 124th edition, but only because the first one predates Newton.
    Pedrotti+pedrotti - a simpler version of B+W.
    Modern optical engineering / Modern lens design - not enough detail to really create an optical design but not enough background to understand it.

    There are also a bunch of tutorials on Zemax etc - usually only available for course on Zemax.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  4. Apr 29, 2008 #3
    I like Predrotti + Pedrotti (Intro to optics), it has a fair bit of explanation and mathematical derivation. It certainly helped me during my undergrad years.
  5. Apr 30, 2008 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    We used Klein and Furtak; it was ok, I suppose.

    Available for free online is the Military Handbook of Optical Design, MIL-HDBK-141, which is a bit dense, but it is free and covers the material at a basic level.

    Stone's "Radiation and Optics" is out of print, but your library may have a copy.
  6. Apr 30, 2008 #5
    i don't know but hecht is terrible
  7. Apr 30, 2008 #6


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    Hecht does seem to polarise opinions.
    It doesn't have the rigour of B+W but it is readable or too wordy!
    It doesn't cover geometric optics as well as 'modern optics'. Although one reviewer complained that it covers geometric optics at all - since no one needs to know that stuff these days, apparently it's all done by software!

    I have the earlier Hecht+zacht edition - it seems to have doubled in size in recent editions.
  8. Jun 27, 2008 #7
    Maybe Guenther - Modern optics...
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