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3.8 out of 5 stars12
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 19 November 2009
This is by far the definitive text on optics. As far as I'm aware, every university recommends it, everyone studying physics has heard of it.

First I'll get the negative point out of the way. This book is very poorly written. The concepts aren't very well explained and occasionally you have to wonder about some of the choice of material included.

The point where this book scores the remaining four stars is in it's diagrams. I have never come across such detailed and well represented diagrams. Each diagram is meticulously presented, most commonly in isometric projection. It was a real artist who put these together, and on their own, provide enough information to make up for the text.

The final point I must make is this: The reason it is everyone's recommended text is because really, you have no choice. There is no half decent alternative (as far as I'm aware). So if you're a physics undergraduate, you have to buy it (or borrow it) because there really, really is nothing else.

But don't get me wrong - 4* is on merit. Just the quality of writing lets it down.
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on 2 December 2013
After borrowing the third edition hardcover from our library, I liked the content so much that I decided to purchase my own copy.

However, although the content of the book is most useful, this fourth international edition paperback is of very lousy print quality, and the cover and pages are very flimsy. Quite a disappointment, as I am afraid the book will not last very long when used intensively.

Another thing I do not understand is why the title and author are so inconspicuously printed on the cover. One would think the book is titled "PEARSON NEW INTERNATIONAL EDITION."
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VINE VOICEon 6 October 2013
* Physical

This book is the international edition, and is suppose to be easier on student pockets. The book is very well bound for a paper back and the paper quality is impressive. The size of the text and the many, many graphs and illustrations is friendly to those of us wearing specs.

* Target audience; A-level, H.N.D, undergraduate, post - graduate?

I.M.H.O This book is aimed at first to second year science / engineering type first degree. It covers wave motion / Electromagnetive theory / the nature of light / Optics / Polarization / interference / Diffraction / Fourier Optics / Basic coherence / Modern Optics Lasers. This book has a very wide spread of descriptive information, but its done at a curtailment of depth in some ways, certainly in the earlier pages and chapters. The book does not get into an enjoyable descriptive gear until the very good explanation of Polarization and diffraction of light (Chapters 7+). It expends many pages going into 'Supposition of Waves', then leading into an entirely enjoyable scientific development into Interferometers and diffractions and there uses. From then on its a good read.

* How is the style of writing?

To be honest, I read the book cover-to-cover twice, and certain chapters several times to take it in. The way its designed gives a very wide overview, but sometimes I wanted a more directed, focused approach could have been as helpful. The mathematical components earlier on may intimidate (analytical ray tracing, p 248), but its not as bad as it may first seem. The later stuff on Fourier is particularly well done. It could be these are required for background to higher studies rather than for Q.E.D at which I was aiming for? In these chapters is a style of writing that has been better explored in more specialist focused books, but the way its been widely bolted-together is still advantageous to the user.

There are selected worked answers in the book from page 658 to 683. Then a good working on 'sinc', and a numerical exploration into 'sinc', that is (sin(u)/u), (pages 653 to 657).

* The cost!

You may worry at the sheer cost of this book brand new. I am in agreement with your negative views, and I recommended going for the second-hand via Amazon as the price of this book is almost inexcusable for a U.K undergraduate student textbook.

* Summary

The books a good-un, but it curtailed some areas that would be advantageous to deeper explored, but the way its wide coverage is applied means its still a GOOD read.
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on 30 March 2014
This book really is a heavyweight book. It packs a punch but does so in a way which is really accessible. Any student studying optics should definitely consult this book. Concepts are laid down with clarity and excellent consideration to the needs of the student. The book covers all the necessary bases to ensure that the reader finishes the book with a comprehensive knowledge of optics. Time after time I have consulted this book and it has yet to disappoint!
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on 4 January 2009
A book every student seems to have relating to optics, and it seems to stay on the shelf even into higher education. Whilst it contains a great deal of information on the various topics in optics it only touches the surface and leaves the reader desperately searching else where for more in depth coverage and understanding.
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on 16 June 2016
This brought back a sense of nostalgia and is a great book sitting on the shelf as a handy reference. It was my textbook for my Optoelectronics and Eng Physics courses. It's readable and clear.
This is about 20 years old in the version I bought. It's been updated many times over the years. I first studied it about 25 years ago, so this was an update for me :)
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on 21 November 2014
This is really terrible. Firstly, the book arrived with stuff on the front. There is a slash on the back page that indents the back pages. Secondly, the printing of the book is appalling. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 4, 7, 8. The page numbers jump around e.g. 86, 87, 150, 151. It's really disappointing, the content is good, but the arrangement is worse than useless.
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on 24 February 2014
This book provides one of the best explanations of the properties of EM radiation and its interaction with matter that I have ever read. This is now my favorite Physics book to date and I absolutely recommend purchasing this book.
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on 18 September 2015
Thorough and well written!
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on 13 August 2015
excellent read
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