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Building Electro-optical Systems: Making it All Work (Wiley Series in Pure and Applied Optics) Hardcover – 4 Sep 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 820 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2nd Edition edition (4 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470402296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470402290
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 4.4 x 26.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 806,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"Hobbs provides a comprehensive overview on the design and construction of electro–optical systems." (Choice, Vol. 38, No. 8, April 2001)

"...scientists, engineers, and anyone else needing help building electro–optical systems will be well aided by this volume...extremely useful...for academic and special libraries supporting programs in electro–optical engineering..." (E–Streams, Vol. 4, No. 9)

"Hobbs provides a comprehensive overview on the design and construction of electro–optical systems." (Choice, Vol. 38, No. 8, April 2001)

"...scientists, engineers, and anyone else needing help building electro–optical systems will be well aided by this volume...extremely useful..." (E–Streams, Vol. 4, No. 9) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

Praise for the First Edition

"Now a new laboratory bible for optics researchers has joinedthe list: it is Phil Hobbs′s Building Electro–Optical Systems:Making It All Work."
Tony Siegman, Optics & Photonics News

Building a modern electro–optical instrument may be the mostinterdisciplinary job in all of engineering. Be it a DVD player ora laboratory one–off, it involves physics, electrical engineering,optical engineering, and computer science interacting in complexways. This book will help all kinds of technical people sortthrough the complexity and build electro–optical systems that justwork, with maximum insight and minimum trial and error.

Written in an engaging and conversational style, this SecondEdition has been updated and expanded over the previous edition toreflect technical advances and a great many conversations withworking designers. Key features of this new edition include:

  • Expanded coverage of detectors, lasers, photon budgets, signalprocessing scheme planning, and front ends
  • Coverage of everything from basic theory and measurementprinciples to design debugging and integration of optical andelectronic systems
  • Supplementary material is available on an ftp site, includingan additional chapter on thermal Control and Chapter problemshighly relevant to real–world design
  • Extensive coverage of high performance optical detection andlaser noise cancellation

Each chapter is full of useful lore from the author′s years ofexperience building advanced instruments. For more background, anappendix lists 100 good books in all relevant areas, introductoryas well as advanced. Building Electro–Optical Systems: Making ItAll Work, Second Edition is essential reading for researchers,students, and professionals who have systems to build.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 July 2000
Format: Hardcover
Phil Hobbs really knows what he's talking about. his equations and mathamatical reasonining prove his work.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
For anyone working with optical systems 23 Jun. 2000
By Paul Moskowitz - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Phil Hobbs has written an in-depth practical study of the field of optics and electro-optics. The book covers subjects including: sources, detectors, lenses, prisms, mirrors, coatings, gratings and exotic components, fiber optics, electro-optical systems, signal processing, and electronics. It is no surprise that it runs to over 700 pages. It is an excellent reference book for anyone working with optical systems. The material is presented in a straight-forward manner using equations only where they are needed. I wish that I had this book as a graduate student.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Lots of info and to the point 25 Feb. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is loaded with formulae, tips, and encyclopedic descriptions of optical phenomena. It includes several chapters on building electronic instrumentation for optical systems that serve as useful advice about electronic prototyping in general. The writing style mimicks that of a wise, experienced expert passing on practical knowledge (and opinion) to a favored student. In a few cases, this style goes too far, particularly when formidable equations are quickly presented and dismissed, leaving the reader to be impressed, but wonder "what was the point of that?". The author has tried to pack in as much technical meat as possible while still retaining an informal feel. It's a difficult style to write but Hobbs, for the most part, pulls it off. I would recommend the text to readers with some familiarity of optics.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Instant Classic 15 Jun. 2000
By John Quinlan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book has achieved instant classic status around our electronics and optics labs, and sits prominently on my bookshelf along with Horowitz & Hill, Gray & Meyer, Dostal, Johnson & Graham, some other highly-valued technical texts and app. notes. The amount of knowledge packed into it is truly intimidating. It covers both the electronics and optics parts of electro-optical systems, from the practical perspective of someone who obviously has had a lot of hard-core experience in designing, constructing and "making them work." Besides the basic theory, there are a lot of tricks, techniques and technical lore that I've never seen in other textbooks. As an EE-type thrust into the world of electro-optics when I started a new job, I found the section on low-noise photodiode amplifiers to be particularly valuable. Its common-sense approach to performance and component tradeoffs is the best I've come across.
One warning: this book is not for beginners - it's aimed mostly at the graduate or senior undergraduate level, although an advanced technician would probably gain something from it.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
One of the best 1 Aug. 2002
By John Lester Miller - Published on
Format: Hardcover
When I meet someone new-to-me in the field, I have taken to the habit of eyeing up their bookshelf, looking for the books that they use. Whenever I see this incredible tome from Phil Hobbs, I know they have an excellent resource. Frankly, I believe that you should be embarased if this book is not on your shelf. This book is simply too good to miss. I recommend that you stop reading this review and buy it!
Phil has managed to cram information of a 100,000+ academic pages into this 727 page gem. His mastery of separating the chemicral from the root of the information is truly amazing. This guy understands what it takes to make a system work and astutely put it into this work. He gives pointers for lab rats as to the number of "post-it" notes to use to elevate an optical component, as well as detail theoretical discussions of detector sensitivity and the practical impact of the electronics.
The writing is sometimes folksy and hip. I find this an incredible relief from the academic 3rd person passive forced by many publishers. Phil occasionally gets funny and at least a few times, his folksy style is only used to clearly underscore the salient point that he is making.
My negative criticism of Hobbs is primarily why it took him until 2000 to publish this book---I could have used it 25 years ago, and whis I had this book in college! Also, a glossary would have been nice to include.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Useful, hard to come by lessons 22 Mar. 2007
By Jason Merrill - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've had this book for around a month, and I've already been able to apply its lessons in the lab on several occasions. Hobbs has a way of anticipating the things that will trip you up ahead of time, allowing you to learn lessons the easy way instead of the hard way. Some of the stuff in here would probably have taken me a decade to realize on my own (i.e. how bad etaloning can be in a polarizing beam splitting cube.) He covers many topics in just enough detail to make we want to find out more.


Occasionally, Hobbs offers advice without making it obvious why you should follow it. Most of it can be cleared up by a careful rereading or consultation of references, but one would do well to avoid following advice without understanding it. Hobbs advocates "dead bug" circuit prototyping, but provides only the the vaguest description of how to do it (and one crummy picture). I googled the subject and found very little useful supplemental material, and I'm not sure how to research the topic further.

Overall, it's hard for me to imagine someone who works with optics who wouldn't benefit from carefully reading this book. A real gem.
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