The author has written an educational marvel on optical effects on solids. This reference focuses on the physics of solids in response to electromagnetic radiation. While the primary audience is first-year graduate students in physics, chemistry and materials science, applied scientists may also benefit from reading this book, especially the later chapters on anisotropic crystals, magneto-optics and inhomogeneous materials.

Beyond the introductions to Maxwell’s equations, dielectric functions and phonons, the author gives the readers direct connections to real solids like silver, noble metals, aluminum, silicon, sodium chloride and other alkali halides. Furthermore, he offers an introduction to optical excitations in terms of quantum mechanics. Computational issues are addressed through the Kramers–Kronig relations and sum rules. For some readers, the chapters on superconductors, semiconductors and insulators as well as nonlocal effects might be of great interest. Strongly interacting solids may also draw the attention of a wider readership.

Review by Axel Mainzer Koenig, CEO, Mainzer Koenig Research Associates, Portland, Ore., USA.

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