Singularities of wavefields can be found in a variety of forms. For example, these objects occur in spatial scalar fields; optical vortices are often referred to as points of phase singularity within a cross section of the field. Additionally, vector fields possess singularities associated with the parameterization of elliptical and partial polarization, rather than phase. Polarization singularities are present in many situations, ranging from sunlight to the light transmitted by birefringent materials. 

The study of optical vortices and orbital angular momentum has led to the recognition that energy flow has features not immediately apparent from the intensity alone, nor from global properties of a light beam. This lecture-based book is pleasant and contains careful discussions of a large number of topics dealing with the multifaceted aspects of wavefield singularities. The target audience for Gbur’s book includes undergraduate students of engineering and science, and optical engineers and designers.

Christian Brosseau, OSA Fellow, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France.

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