This work gives accounts of non-quantum optical phenomena and of instruments and technology based on them, at a level suitable for the last two years of an honours degree in physics and for graduates starting out. Topics covered include the conventional (diffraction, coherence, thin films, holography) and the less conventional (etendue, Gaussian beams, laser cavities, CD reader, confocal microscope) which belong in today's university courses, for example, to support laser physics. Even the conventional material has frequently been given a fresh presentation by giving a tidier-than-usual route through a calculation, or finding insightful connections with other parts of physics, or simply avoiding common errors. Problems offer opportunities for checking the reader's basic understanding, or for taking a careful route through reasoning, or for checking orders of magnitude. But most problems contain exploratory and critical material: investigating possible alternative approaches, asking searching questions about fundamentals, or solving apparent paradoxes.
G.A.Brooker, University Lecturer in the Department of Physics, Oxford University; Fellow and Tutor of Wadham College, Oxford. Held a Post-doctoral Fellowship at Harvard University in the years 1964-67 working in the then-new field of laser physics, followed by a Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Physics, Oxford from 1967-69 working on measurements of electro-optic coefficients of transparent crystals and a Fellowship by Special Election at Wadham College, Oxford from 1969-70.
1. Electromagnetism and basic optics ; 2. Fourier series and Fourier transforms ; 3. Diffraction ; 4. Diffraction gratings ; 5. The Fabry-Perot ; 6. Thin films ; 7. Ray matrices and Gaussian beams ; 8. Optical cavities ; 9. Coherence: qualitative ; 10. Coherence: correlation functions ; 11. Optical practicalities: etendue, interferometry, fringe localization ; 12. Image formation: diffraction theory ; 13. Holography ; 14. Optical fibres ; 15. Polarization ; 16. Two modern optical devices