Optics and photonics may be regarded as enabling technologies, which—almost by definition—implies that those without specialization in the fields will make use of its technologies.
The present book is an example of how key knowledge from optics may be transferred to other fields. In this case, the target audience is mechanical engineers who shape reality from optical designs. The responsibility of the mechanical engineer is to ensure that all requisite optical elements are located with sufficient accuracy, to meet the optical designer’s aims.
To reach that objective, the mechanical engineer needs to appreciate the significance of the optical elements, as well as have a means to analyze the performance of the system under construction. The basic design tool for this purpose is the set of equations that provide the title of this book.
The book has been written by an experienced optomechanical engineer who is also a prolific author. As such, one has great confidence in the selection of material included in this short book. Indeed, the book’s brevity is a positive feature, since it ensures that the text focuses strongly on the task at hand.
Despite the brevity, the author succeeds in offering a variety of content including examples of data files for inclusion in automated analysis of optical systems. Such data highlight the practicality of the material presented here. A key part of the design process is to be aware of the impact of any positioning or other implementation errors. A section on “The Quality of Implementation” treats this issue with great clarity.
This volume is very much fit for purpose and will surely be well-used by its target audience. The only query this reviewer has is whether mechanical engineers working in optics will know from the book’s title that this is the text that they need.
Review by K. Alan Shore, Bangor University School of Electronic Engineering, Wales, United Kingdom.
The opinions expressed in the book review section are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of OPN or OSA.