This highly recommended undergraduate textbook evolved from the author’s two decades of teaching optics with an emphasis on physical understanding and modern content such as tightly focused vector fields (microscopy and optical tweezers), unconventional polarization states, coherence and light-matter interactions.

The clear derivation of approximations, and their ranges of validity and failure, are uniquely presented; for example, the non-transverse nature of light. The reader is aided by an integrated approach across the book, clear development of all terms, chapter summaries, extensive marginal notes, many computer simulations of optical phenomena, 240 figures, 200 exercises, references and an index. The exercises inspire curiosity and serve to further the understanding of optical phenomena. The authors demonstrate how to construct arbitrary light fields by summing plane and spherical waves. A unified presentation of Fraunhofer and Fresnel diffraction is given by Fourier techniques.

This book is comprehensive and presents the integration of the physics and the mathematics that makes the study of optics so fascinating for the reader.

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.