Goodman’s Introduction to Fourier Optics is a classic. Perusal of the new fourth edition demonstrates the reasons for its popularity. The combination of clear explanations, with their mathematical representation, is the hallmark of this renowned teacher, author and researcher.

Each topic is appropriately divided into small sections, which facilitates the learning process. Another pervasive feature is the author’s cautions on the use and misuse of mathematical approximations, which are derived from the rigorous theory; e.g. diffraction theory. The well-designed figures illustrate physical and mathematical concepts.

This book demonstrates the integration of electrical engineering, optics, microscopy and optical communications. The book’s eighth chapter, titled “Point-Spread Function and Transfer Function Engineering,” is a welcome addition, with its discussion of rotating point-spread functions for axial resolution in the microscope. The important addition of a section on beam optics includes a brief introduction to Laguerre-Gaussian beams, and modes that carry orbital angular momentum called vortex beams. However, the key references on vortex beams are missing. There is also an index and an enhanced bibliography.

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.