Optics / Edition 4

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Accurate, comprehensive and precise, this revision provides students with the most up-to-date coverage of optics. Responsive to students' needs, the focus of the revision was to fine-tune the pedagogy, modernize the discourse, and update the content. The third edition continues the gradually modernizing treatment of the previous edition by imparting an appreciation of the central role of atomic scattering, providing an understanding of the insightful perspective offered by the Fourier Theory, and by, from the outset, explicating the underlying quantum mechanical nature of light. Additionally, the third edition addresses all of today's significant technological advances.

As always, Hecht provides a good balance of theory and instrumentation, while providing readers with classical background. The writing style is lively and colorful, with historical anecdotes and citations, and at the request of previous edition users, Hecht has included about 125 new problems, designed primarily to develop students' analytic skills.


  • Hecht presents a current, detailed, and comprehensive coverage of optics
  • As with previous editions, the text employs a good balance of theory and instrumentation, and provides students a classical background with historical anecdotes and citations
  • Hecht has added new problems that are designed primarily to develop students' needed analytic skills

This edition of Hecht's book serves as both text and reference. It provides the reader with an understanding of many concepts through historical anecdotes and citations. Discussions of topics include developments in fiber optics, optical signal processing and Fourier analysis.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805385663
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 8/2/2001
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 680
  • Sales rank: 500,935
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Table of Contents

1. A Brief History.

2. Wave Motion.

UPDATED! 3. Electromagnetic Theory, Photons, and Light.

4. The Propagation of Light.

5. Geometrical Optics.

6. More on Geometrical Optics.

7. The Superposition of Waves.

8. Polarization.

9. Interference.

10. Diffraction.

11. Fourier Optics.

12. Basics of Coherence Theory.

13. Modern Optics: Lasers and Other Topics.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A practical reference

    As a practicing engineer, this book provides an excellent reference. The breadth of material is extraordinary. As an introduction to the subject, it might be difficult to read alone without guidance. There are numerous references to books with more detail on the subjects.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2003

    A full text

    The other fairly negative reviews are relatively accurate about this book. Yes, I am sure Hecht is unclear with many of the subjects he covered. One person simply cannot be an expert at EM theory, thin film, lasers, waveguides, instrumentation, and Fourier optics, etc. I understand that there's plenty of room for improvement, but as for now, I think Hecht's text book gets the job done as a source that everyone can refer to. If Hecht was to cover everything in clear mathematical detail, this text would at least be the size of a full set of encyclopedias. So, just read on and take some things at face value if time does not allow for other sources.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2002

    Still in the Dark After This Book

    I get the impression that Hecht is not clear himself on many of the concepts. My view is if you have mastered the topic, you should be able to explain it to your 15 year old kid. Keep studying Hecht. Maybe someday you will figure it out and update, probably version 35 by then.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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