Book Reviews

Fiber Optic Essentials

K. Thyagarajan and Ajoy Ghatak

Wiley-IEEE Press, 2007; $69.10 (hardcover).


One of the most important technological applications of lasers has been in the area of communications. Low-loss optical fibers have made it possible to communicate almost instantaneously between any two points on the globe. Today, more than 10 terabits of information can be transmitted per second through one hair-thin optical fiber. This amount of information is equivalent to the simultaneous transmission of about 150 million telephone calls.

This is how the authors Thyagarajan and Ghatak introduce their book, Fiber Optic Essentials. The book starts with the basics of light waves and the phenomena of refraction and reflection. In subsequent chapters, it introduces the field of fiber optics and covers the recent developments, such as fiber amplifiers, fiber Bragg gratings, nonlinear fiber optics and fiber optic sensors. The authors make it surprisingly easy for the reader to grasp the underlying physical concepts using minimum mathematics.

The inclusion of examples, diagrams and comparisons with everyday experiences is helpful. This is an excellent reference book for anyone interested in gaining a basic understanding of fiber optics.

[Review by Reva Garg, research associate with the Instituto de Física, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil.]

Handbook of Optoelectronics

J. Dakin and R.G.W. Brown, eds.

Taylor & Francis 2006; $925.00 (hardcover).


This comprehensive two-volume set covers a broad spectrum of topics within optoelectronics. The first of the volumes includes information on basic concepts, materials and devices—from photometry to discharge optical sources to ultrashort pulses and nonlinear optics. The emphasis is on the generation and detection of light, with only a brief discussion of optical receivers. The second volume covers communications, imaging, sensing and data processing.

Each chapter is independently written by a different team of experts and includes its own set of references. The introduction and index are identically replicated in each of the two volumes, and the page numbers are sequential between volumes. The table of contents is split, making navigation a bit inconvenient.

This handbook is an up-to-date resource for both theoretical and practical matters. It contains a wealth of information, albeit at a rather steep price.

[Review by Bogdan Hoanca, associate professor at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, U.S.A.]

Smart CMOS Image Sensors and Applications

Jun Ohta, Taylor & Francis Group

CRC Press; $119.95 (hardcover).


Brian J. Thompson started this series of books on optical science and engineering. This particular volume covers the brief history and basics of the device physics for complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors. With many examples and hundreds of references, the book focuses on the current development of the CMOS sensor, which integrates application-related special function blocks and the conventional CMOS image sensors, such as signal processing and pulse modulation.

It also covers the imaging technology of the smart sensor in the situation of low light, high speed and a wider dynamic range for image capturing. The book reviews the applications in the fields of information and communication, biotechnology and medicine. It not only provides the foundation for understanding existing CMOS sensor technologies but a wealth of references and resources for further research.

[Review by Dr. Yan Gao, Securimetrics, Inc., an L1 Identity Solutions Company.]

The opinions expressed in the book review section are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of OPN or OSA.

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