This edited reference is suitable for physics graduate students and researchers who are familiar with electromagnetic fields and concepts such as Berry’s phase, Gouy phase, Pancharatnam’s phase, Mueller matrix and the Poincaré sphere. It provides a modern, comprehensive, theoretical and experimental foundation of vectorial optical fields with spatially engineered states of polarization. This differs from alternative treatments of light with spatially homogeneous polarization and provides access to many new applications that are described in the chapters. These include single molecule imaging, optical measurements, optical tweezers and trapping. There is a good balance of theory, applications and mathematics with full derivations. The instrumentation that generates various vector beams is fully described, as well as the resulting novel effects. Throughout the book there are color figures that enhance the text. Each chapter contains a wide range of references and there is an index.

Review by Barry R. Masters, Fellow of AAAS, OSA and SPIE. 

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