# Yes, another request for Optics book recommendations

• bluebottle
In summary, the conversation discusses the topic of self-studying optics and finding a good textbook to cover all the necessary concepts. The suggested textbooks include "Introduction to Classical and Modern Optics" by Jurgen Meyer-Arendt, "Pedrotti^3," and "Fundamentals of Optics" by Jenkins and White. The speakers also mention using Wikipedia as a resource for learning about optics.
bluebottle
I'm not looking forward to optics so I wanted to do some self-study, like learn the topic on my own and ask to write the final.

It's basically a first year optics course, no calculus beyond high school is really required.
My university uses the optics textbook "Introduction to Classical and Modern Optics" by Jurgen Meyer-Arendt (https://www.amazon.com/dp/013124356X/?tag=pfamazon01-20).

It really doesn't look like a riveting book.

Can you give me some recommendations for a good optics textbook that covers all the bases? i.e. geometrical and wave optics, reflection, refraction, lenses, matrix methods, aberrations, gradient index phenomena (fibre optics, interference, holography, coherence, polarisation, Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction)

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I've taught optics from Meyer-Arendt in the past, and wasn't too thrilled with it, either. I now use Pedrotti^3 which is at a similar level. Frankly, I'm not thrilled with it, either, but other optics books seem to assume a higher mathematical level, and at least P^3 uses the standard sign convention for object/image distances whereas M-A uses a different convention which can be confusing if you're also referring to other sources.

For my own reading, I like Hecht and use it as an alternate source to look up stuff. It has lots of nifty pictures, and a more conversational tone than most other textbooks. Many students (including some who have posted here) consider it to be too wordy. I actually enjoy reading it, myself. But de gustibus non disputandum est, and all that. It does get more mathematical than either M-A or P^3, and starts out with a discussion of Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves, which you can safely skip over if you want to start with the geometrical optics which follows.

jtbell said:
I've taught optics from Meyer-Arendt in the past, and wasn't too thrilled with it, either.

My experience as well.

Well, thank you. I guess there's not one book that leaves all the others behind, eh? :/

Be no stranger to Wikipedia. Read all you can.

Hi,
you should try "Fundamentals of Optics" by Jenkins and White which is being used by many undergrads around the world.

## 1. What are the best books for learning about optics?

Some popular recommendations for learning about optics include "Optics" by Eugene Hecht, "Introduction to Optics" by Frank L. Pedrotti, and "Fundamentals of Optics" by Francis A. Jenkins and Harvey E. White.

## 2. Are there any beginner-friendly optics books?

Yes, some beginner-friendly optics books include "Optics for Dummies" by Galen Duree Jr. and "Light: A Very Short Introduction" by Ian Walmsley.

## 3. Are there any books that focus specifically on a certain aspect of optics?

Yes, there are many books that focus on specific aspects of optics such as "Geometrical and Visual Optics: A Clinical Introduction" by Steven H. Schwartz, which focuses on the clinical applications of optics, and "Nonlinear Optics" by Robert W. Boyd, which delves into the nonlinear behavior of light.

For advanced readers, some recommended optics books include "Principles of Optics: Electromagnetic Theory of Propagation, Interference and Diffraction of Light" by Max Born and Emil Wolf and "Quantum Optics" by Marlan O. Scully and M. Suhail Zubairy.

## 5. Are there any online resources for learning about optics?

Yes, there are many online resources for learning about optics such as websites, video lectures, and online courses. Some popular options include Khan Academy, MIT OpenCourseWare, and Coursera.

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