Best Reference Books – Optics

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We have compiled the list of Top 10 Best Reference Books on Optics subject. These books are used by students of top universities, institutes and colleges. Here is the full list of top 10 best books on Optics along with reviews.

Kindly note that we have put a lot of effort into researching the best books on Optics subject and came out with a recommended list of top 10 best books. The table below contains the Name of these best books, their authors, publishers and an unbiased review of books on "Optics" as well as links to the Amazon website to directly purchase these books. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases, but this does not impact our reviews, comparisons, and listing of these top books; the table serves as a ready reckoner list of these best books.

1. “Optics, Principles and Applications” by K K Sharma

“Optics, Principles and Applications” Book Review: In this book, the course has been made more accessible and useful. This book goes from the elementary level and easily catches up with advanced topics along with covering all the standard topics. The book carries the reader through many ideas in optics by dealing with numericals and application of the subject. This book is well written and explains the subject clearly with many illustrations and several problems in each chapter. It Includes problem solving of ray deviations, focusing errors, and distortion along with including them at the end so as to densely understand. Almost one third of the book deals with applications of optics. This book makes the subject jump out of it so that the reader can visualise the things taking shape around. The book gives a clear view about the topic so that the reader not only understands it but also knows where to keep it. This book aims to optical engineers, libraries, senior undergraduate students, graduate students, and professors.

2. “Principles of Optics” by M Born and E Wolf

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“Principles of Optics” Book Review: Throughout the book, the theory is well presented, allowing students to have a deep dive of the topic and is highly readable, clear, and concise. The book gives a concise treatment of the electromagnetic waves as well as theory of scattering of scalar waves, including the Born series and the Rytov series along with presents an account of the principles of diffraction tomography with the basic theorem in this field. The book covers the topics like Basic Properties of the Electromagnetic Field, Elements of the Theory of Diffraction, Electromagnetic Potentials and Polarization, Geometrical Theory of Optical Imaging, Foundations of Geometrical Optics, Geometrical Theory of Aberrations, Image-Forming Instruments, Elements of the Theory of Interference and Interferometers, Elements of the Theory of Diffraction, The Diffraction Theory of Aberrations, Interference and Diffraction with Partially Coherent Light, Rigorous Diffraction Theory, Diffraction of Light by Ultrasonic Waves, Optics of Metals, Optics of Crystals along with some appendices etc.

3. “Introduction to Modern Optics” by G B Fowles

“Introduction to Modern Optics” Book Review: This book provides a basic undergraduate-level course in modern optics for students in physics, technology and engineering. Basically the books can be divided into two parts: the first half of the book deals with classical physical optics and the second principally with the quantum nature of light. The book deals with the topics like Propagation of light waves, concepts of phase and group velocities, the vectorial nature of light, concepts of partial coherence, coherence length to the study of interference, multiple-beam interference, Fabry-Perot interferometer, multilayer-film theory, Diffraction and holography, the propagation of light in material media, the quantum theory of light, elementary optical spectra, theory of light amplification and lasers, etc. This book has many applications on the laser to the study of optics through the texts. The prerequisite of the book is to have a basic knowledge on electricity and magnetism and some advanced mathematics beyond calculus.

4. “Optics” by Ghatak

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“Optics” Book Review: This book gives a comprehensive and balanced account of traditional optics as well as some of the recent developments in this field. This book is meant for undergraduate students of science and engineering, as well as students pursuing bachelor of honours degree in physics while pertaining to their respective syllabi. The covers topics like Paraxial Ray Optics, Geometrical Theory of Third-Order Aberrations, Characteristic Functions, Diffraction, Partially Coherent Light, Fourier Optics I. Spatial Frequency Filtering, Fourier Optics II. Optical Transfer Functions, Holography, Self-Focusing, Graded-Index Waveguides, Evanescent Waves and the Goos-Hänchen Effect. The book is written in student-friendly language and is resourceful.

5. “Optics (Schaum’s Outline Series)” by Eugene Hecht

“Optics (Schaum’s Outline Series)” Book Review: This book offers an excellent overview of the key theories and outlook of the topic. The context here is wrapped up with simple words and with a detailed understanding of all the key topics. The book consists of several illustrations, diagrams and experiments to help understand the complex concepts of optics better. This book is helpful for students who are preparing for competitive examinations like IIT-JAM and NET. The book covers topics like wave motion, the propagation of light, geometrical optics, Fourier optics, superposition of waves, polarization, diffraction and basics of coherence theory. This book highlights all the important facts we need to know.

6. “Fundamentals of Optics” by Francis Jenkins and Harvey White

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“Fundamentals of Optics” Book Review: The key focus is on topic explanations to make a clear view of the topic. This book is well designed to let you taste the real cream of optics. This book is well described and simple too. Helping the reader to boost his or her confidence.This book covers all of the main points of optics in a very consistently clear and concise manner. Each chapter has a set of largely numerical problems with answers provided for the odd numbered problems. This book covers topic which are Properties of Light, Plane Surfaces and Prisms, Spherical Surfaces, Spherical Mirrors, The Effects of Stops, Ray Tracing, Lens Aberrations, Wave Optics, Vibrations and Waves, The Speed of Light, Absorption and Scattering, Double Refraction, Quantum Optics, Light Quanta and Their Origin, Refractive Indices and Dispersions for Optical Glasses, etc.

7. “Theory and Practice of optics and refraction” by Khurana

“Theory and Practice of optics and refraction” Book Review: In this book, the course has been made more accessible and useful. This book goes from the elementary level and easily catches up with advanced topics along with covering all the standard topics. Each chapter in this book has been thoroughly updated and revised. This book provides information on basic principles of optics and refraction to the residents in ophthalmology as well as students of Optometry and Orthoptics. In this book the text is decorated in attractive four-colour format to make understanding, retention and reproducibility of facts easy. This book covers topics like Light, Physical Optics,,Refractive Surgery, Optical Instruments and Techniques, Geometrical Optics, and Optics of Eye, Low Vision Management, Visual Acuity, Contrast Sensitivity and Tests for Potential Vision, Errors of Refraction and Binocular Optical Defects Asthenopia, Anomalies of Accommodation and Convergence,Corneal Topography and Aberrometry, Clinical Refraction, etc.

8. “Introduction to Optics” by Pedrotti

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“Introduction to Optics” Book Review: In this book, the course has been made more accessible and useful. This book goes from the elementary level and easily catches up with advanced topics along with covering all the standard topics. This book aims to intermediate and upper level undergraduate physics and engineering students and offers a comprehensive and engaging introduction. The specific feature of this book is that it’s more of self guiding specialized content to suit individual curricular needs and goals.The book deals with topics like optics of the eye, lasers,coherence, ray tracing, polarization, multiple thin-film interference, holography, fiber optics, interferometry, Fourier optics, nonlinear optics, and Fresnel equations.

9. “Optics: Lectures On Theoretical Physics” by Sommerfeld Arnold

“Optics: Lectures On Theoretical Physics” Book Review: This book is designed to help students to work and improve their comprehension and response skills. The chapters here are followed by interactive exercises and MCQs, thinking and writing activities. This book is comprehensive and can be used by students who want a deep dive into the topic.

10. “Fiber Optic Communications” by Palais

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“Fiber Optic Communications” Book Review: This book offers an excellent overview of the key theories and outlook of the topic. The context here is wrapped up with simple words and with a detailed understanding of all the key topics along with coverage of significant advances made in the fiber industry over the time and in-depth introduction to the basics of communicating with optical fiber transmission lines. Throughout the book, the theory is well presented, allowing students to have a deep dive from and covers topics like Raman amplifier, erbium-doped waveguide amplifier, the arrayed waveguide grating, electroabsorption modulator, optical micro-electro-mechanical (MEMs) components, dispersion compensation, tunable light sources, tunable filters, optical time-division multiplexing, dense and coarse wavelength-division multiplexing, increased utilization of the optical spectrum, fiber lasers and optical amplifiers, vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser diodes, dense wavelength-division multiplexing, fiber Bragg grating technology, etc. This book allows the reader to learn and design operating principles.

People who are searching for Free downloads of books and free pdf copies of these top 10 books on Optics – we would like to mention that we don’t have free downloadable pdf copies of these good books and one should look for free pdf copies from these Authors only if they have explicitly made it free to download and read them.

We have created a collection of best reference books on "Optics" so that one can readily see the list of top books on "Optics" and buy the books either online or offline.

If any more book needs to be added to the list of best books on Optics subject, please let us know.

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Manish Bhojasia - Founder & CTO at Sanfoundry
Manish Bhojasia, a technology veteran with 20+ years @ Cisco & Wipro, is Founder and CTO at Sanfoundry. He is Linux Kernel Developer & SAN Architect and is passionate about competency developments in these areas. He lives in Bangalore and delivers focused training sessions to IT professionals in Linux Kernel, Linux Debugging, Linux Device Drivers, Linux Networking, Linux Storage, Advanced C Programming, SAN Storage Technologies, SCSI Internals & Storage Protocols such as iSCSI & Fiber Channel. Stay connected with him @ LinkedIn | Youtube | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter