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Photonics and Lasers: An Introduction

ISBN: 978-0-471-71974-8
536 pages
April 2006, ©2006
Photonics and Lasers: An Introduction (0471719749) cover image


An introduction to photonics and lasers that does not rely on complex mathematics

This book evolved from a series of courses developed by the author and taught in the areas of lasers and photonics. This thoroughly classroom-tested work fills a unique need for students, instructors, and industry professionals in search of an introductory-level book that covers a wide range of topics in these areas. Comparable books tend to be aimed either too high or too low, or they cover only a portion of the topics that are needed for a comprehensive treatment.

Photonics and Lasers is divided into four parts:
* Propagation of Light
* Generation and Detection of Light
* Laser Light
* Light-Based Communication

The author has ensured that complex mathematics does not become an obstacle to understanding key physical concepts. Physical arguments and explanations are clearly set forth while, at the same time, sufficient mathematical detail is provided for a quantitative understanding. As an additional aid to readers who are learning to think symbolically, some equations are expressed in words as well as symbols.

Problem sets are provided throughout the book for readers to test their knowledge and grasp of key concepts. A solutions manual is also available for instructors. Finally, the detailed bibliography leads readers to in-depth explorations of particular topics.

The book's topics, lasers and photonics, are often treated separately in other texts; however, the author skillfully demonstrates their natural synergy. Because of the combined coverage, this text can be used for a two-semester course or a one-semester course emphasizing either lasers or photonics. This is a perfect introductory textbook for both undergraduate and graduate students, additionally serving as a practical reference for engineers in telecommunications, optics, and laser electronics.
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Table of Contents



1. Overview.

1-1 Photonics Defined.

1-2 Fiber Optic Communications.

1-3 Overview of Topics.

2. Review of Optics.

2-1 The Nature of Light.

2-2 Light at a Boundary.

2-3 Light Passing through.

2-4 Imaging Optics.

3. Planar Waveguides.

3-1 Waveguide Modes.

3-2 Mode Chart.

3-3 Dispersion.

4. Cylindrical Waveguides.

4-1 Acceptance Angle and Numerical Aperture.

4-2 Cylindrical Waveguide.

5. Losses in Optical Fibers.

5-1 Absorption Loss.

5-2 Scattering.

5-3 Bending Losses.

6. Dispersion in Optical Fibers.

6-1 Graded Index Fiber.

6-2 Intramodal Dispersion.

7. Fiber Connections and Diagnostics.

7-1 Fiber Connections.

7-2 Losses in Fiber Connections.

7-3 Fiber Loss Diagnostics.

8. Photonic Crystal Optics.

8-1 1-D Photonic Crystals.

8-2 2-D Photonic Crystals.

8-3 3-D Photonic Crystals.

9. Nonlinear Optics.

9-1 Fundamental Mechanisms.

9-2 Frequency Conversion.

9-3 Nonlinear Refractive Index.

9-4 Electro-optic Effects.


10. Review of Semiconductor Physics.

10-1 Uniform Semiconductors.

10-2 Layered Semiconductors.

11. Light Sources.

11-1 The LED.

11-2 The Laser Diode.

12. Light Source to Waveguide Coupling Efficiency.

12-1 Point Source.

12-2 Lambertian Source.

12-3 Laser Source.

13. Optical Detectors.

13-1 Thermal Detectors.

13-2 Photon Detectors.

13-3 Noise in Photon Detectors.

Part 2 Generation and Detection of Light.

14. Photodiode Detectors .

14-1 Biasing the Photodiode.

14-2 Output Saturation.

14-3 Response Time.

14-4 Types of Photodiodes.

14-5 Signal-to-Noise Ratio.

14-6 Detector Circuits.


15. Lasers and Coherent Light.

15-1 Overview of Laser.

15-2 Optical Coherence.

16. Optical Resonators.

16-1 Mode Frequencies.

16-2 Mode Width.

16-3 Fabry-Perot Interferometer.

17. Gaussian Beam Optics.

17-1 Gaussian Beams in Free.

17-2 Gaussian Beams in a Laser.

17-3 Gaussian Beams Passing.

18. Stimulated Emission and Optical Gain.

18-1 Transition Rates.

18-2 Optical Gain.

19. Optical Amplifiers.

19-1 Gain Coefficient.

19-2 Total Gain of Amplifier.

20. Laser Oscillation.

20-1 Threshold Condition.

20-2 Above Lasing Threshold.

21. CW Laser Characteristics.

21-1 Mode Spectrum of Laser.

21-2 Controlling the Laser.

22. Pulsed Lasers.

22-1 Uncontrolled Pulsing.

22-2 Pulsed Pump.

22-3 Theory of Q-Switching.

22-4 Methods of Q-Switching.

22-5 Theory of Mode Locking.

22-6 Methods of Mode Locking.

23 Survey of Laser Types.


23-1 Optically Pumped Lasers.

23-2 Electrically Pumped Lasers.

24 Optical Communications.

24-1 Fiber Optic CommunicationsSystems.

24-2 Signal Multiplexing.

24-3 Power Budget in Fiber Optic.

24-4 Optical Amplifiers.

24-5 Free-Space Optics.


Appendix A: Solid Angle and the Brightness Theorem.

Appendix B: Fourier Synthesis and the Uncertainty Relation.

List of Symbols.


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Author Information

Richard S. Quimby is an Associate Professor of physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  He earned a BS in EE/Physics at Clarkson College of Technology in 1975 and a PhD in Physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1979. He has been actively involved in research relating to photonics devices such as fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers since the 1980's.  His work has resulted in approximately 35 publications, as well as three invited conference presentations. He also is a contributor to the book FLUORIDE GLASS FIBER OPTICS (Academic Press 1991).
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The Wiley Advantage

  • Unlike other texts, this book treats both photonics and lasers
  • Two tiered approach in which various chapters and parts of chapters are identified as appropriate for an introductory course, with remaining parts being optional or appropriate for a two semester course
  • Book is suitable for students who prefer physical rather than mathematical understanding and have some trouble with abstract thinking (no knowledge of PDEs required, nor upper-level physics)
  • Book has enough mathematical detail that a solid physical understanding can be achieved, but at the same time limiting the mathematical complexity
  • Solutions Manual for instructors offers complete solutions to all problems in the book (available from editorial department)
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"…provides introductory-level coverage of a wide range of topics…recommended." (CHOICE, October 2006)
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