Book Reviews

Radio Frequency Power in Plasma

Philip M. Ryan and David Rasmussen, eds.

AIP Conference Proceedings, Springer, 2007; $152.00 (hardcover).


This book contains papers from the Conference on Radio Frequency Power in Plasma, held in Clearwater, Fla., U.S.A., in 2007. The conference was sponsored by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The majority of papers are devoted to the ion cyclotron range of frequencies, the hybrid range of frequencies, the Bernstein range of frequencies and the electron cyclotron range of frequencies. The main topics discussed are RF heating for magnetic fusion plasma, ITER, wave propagation and wave coupling and RF current drives in tokomaks.

Readers interested in RF theory and modeling will find a range of topics from linear and nonlinear antenna coupling to wave plasma interaction, as well as algorithmic development via ray-based methods and nonlinear particle simulations. Readers will benefit from the section on RF plasma applications, which cover propulsion systems, plasma simulators and phase array antenna for fusion. This volume is highly recommended for researchers and graduate students in plasma physics.

[Review by Axel Mainzer Koenig, CEO, 21st Century Data Analysis, a division of Koenig & Associates, Inc.]

Next-Generation Intelligent Optical Networks: From Access
to Backbone

Stamatios Kartalopoulos, ed.

Springer 2008; $99.00 (hardcover).


Designing and implementing optical communications systems requires an understanding of two key technical elements: optical networks and network security. This book may be the first to treat both topics together. The relevant material is presented using a thoughtful sectioning of chapters, allowing key concepts to be highlighted and clearly explained.

The chapter on network security provides an example of the book’s eclectic style; it carries the reader from ancient Greece through to quantum key distribution and then via biometrics to a discussion on security in next generation optical networks. In the final chapter, the author makes some concluding remarks, including the inspiring observation that “the future of communication networks looks bright and very challenging, and definitely not boring.” Readers of this book will be able to meet some of these challenges; they certainly will not be bored.

[Review by K. Alan Shore, School of Electronic Engineering, Bangor University, Bangor, Wales, U.K.]

Semiconductor Device Physics and Design

Umesh J. Mishra and Jasprint Singh

Springer, Dordrecht, 2008; $109.00 (hardcover).


This is a classical textbook about the physics of semiconductor devices. It is intended for electrical engineers, but is also useful for young physicists. The book is very clear and covers all the main knowledge necessary for a graduate student in the area of semiconductors, starting with semiconductor physics and devices such as diodes and transistors and finishing with mesoscopic devices.

The book has 10 main chapters and 8 small chapters contained in the Appendix. It contains many helpful figures, examples and problem sets. This book is also a good guide for teachers. In addition, advanced researchers could use it because the needed information is easy to find and extremely well synthesized.

[Review by Mircea Dragoman, National Research and Development Institute in Microtechnology in Bucharest, Romania.]

Photonic Crystals: Molding the Flow of Light, Second Edition

John D. Joannopoulos, Steven G. Johnson, Joshua N. Winn and Robert D. Meade

Princeton University Press, 2008; $75.00 (hardcover).


Naturally occurring photonic crystals such as the wings of butterflies and the mineral opal are long-known curiosities. However, it is the synthetic production of multidimensional structures that possess periodic variations in their dielectric constant that result in useful structures to control the propagation of light.

This clearly written and colorfully illustrated book presents the modern physical theory of photonic crystals. The graduate-level text is enhanced with superb illustrations, a bibliography and an index. The analogy of the physical formalism of the authors and the equations of quantum mechanics and solid-state physics is intriguing. The reader will find valuable addendums in the appendixes on the reciprocal lattice and the Brillouin Zone, the atlas of bandgaps, and the additional materials on computational photonics. The authors illustrate the physical formalism of photonic crystals by demonstrating the design concepts of integrated optical devices based on photonic crystals. This concise book is highly recommended.

[Review by Barry R. Masters, department of biological engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A.]

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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