The Barnes & Noble Review
If the idea of taking optical measurements seems a bit esoteric, you better think again. Your world is changing, and your need to know how to measure certain kinds of light has become increasingly commonplace. The importance of this kind of information has grown exponentially, as the market's need for constantly increasing sophistication in technology escalates. This outstanding book is a hands-on tutorial to show you how to take optical measurements easily and inexpensively.
Author Mark Johnson begins by discussing the basics of photodetection using junction photodiodes and shows how they can be represented by a simple current-generator model. Next, Johnson progresses from photodetectors to photodetection, simple electronic circuits that allow observation and measurement of state and varying optical signals with a voltmeter, on an oscilloscope, or as part of an optoelectronic product. Then, you'll look at the fundamental sources of noise. Next, the author looks at a handful of less common, but occasionally very useful photodetection configurations. The author then goes on to cover system noise and synchronous detection. Next, Johnson presents a small collection of the "electronic clichés" or useful electronic circuits and construction techniques that you will need to get you going, together with some suggestions for actual components.
There are many approaches to controlling ambient light: some optical, some electronic; this book will look at a few of these. Many optical measurement systems suffer from a lack of optical signal energy. Here, the author looks at the main issue: a lack of stability. Next, he discusses some of the problems involved in transferring a high-performance optical instrument, well designed in consideration of photon budgets and temperature drift performance, to an industrial environment where it is up against a different set of stresses, the greatest of which is so-called fouling. Then, you'll work through an important measurement situation where noise and stability are strongly coupled. Finally, the author concludes with a discussion of additional electronic measurements.
The principles contained in this excellent book are interesting and didactic for the whole of optical measurement. Anyone in research or electrical engineering will benefit from having this book close at hand when a problem presents itself.
John R. Vacca
John R. Vacca, the former computer security official (CSO) for NASA's space station program (Freedom), has written nearly 40 books about advanced storage, computer security, and aerospace technology.