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Optics For Dummies

Galen C. Duree Jr.

ISBN: 978-1-118-02439-3 July 2011 368 Pages


The easy way to shed light on Optics

In general terms, optics is the science of light. More specifically, optics is a branch of physics that describes the behavior and properties of light?including visible, infrared, and ultraviolet?and the interaction of light with matter.

Optics For Dummies gives you an approachable introduction to optical science, methods, and applications. You'll get plain-English explanations of the nature of light and optical effects; reflection, refraction, and diffraction; color dispersion; optical devices, industrial, medical, and military applications; as well as laser light fundamentals.

  • Tracks a typical undergraduate optics course
  • Detailed explanations of concepts and summaries of equations
  • Valuable tips for study from college professors

If you're taking an optics course for your major in physics or engineering, let Optics For Dummies shed light on the subject and help you succeed!

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Up to Speed on Optics Fundamentals 7

Chapter 1: Introducing Optics, the Science of Light 9

Chapter 2: Brushing Up on Optics-Related Math and Physics 15

Chapter 3: A Little Light Study: Reviewing Light Basics 31

Chapter 4: Understanding How to Direct Where Light Goes 45

Part II: Geometrical Optics: Working with More Than One Ray 57

Chapter 5: Forming Images with Multiple Rays of Light 59

Chapter 6: Imaging with Mirrors: Bouncing Many Rays Around 69

Chapter 7: Imaging with Refraction: Bending Many Rays at the Same Time 77

Part III: Physical Optics: Using the Light Wave 95

Chapter 8: Optical Polarization: Describing the Wiggling Electric Field in Light 97

Chapter 9: Changing Optical Polarization 113

Chapter 10: Calculating Refl ected and Transmitted Light with Fresnel Equations 131

Chapter 11: Running Optical Interference: Not Always a Bad Thing 143

Chapter 12: Diffraction: Light’s Bending around Obstacles 161

Part IV: Optical Instrumentation: Putting Light to Practical Use 179

Chapter 13: Lens Systems: Looking at Things the Way You Want to See Them 181

Chapter 14: Exploring Light Sources: Getting Light Where You Want It 197

Chapter 15: Guiding Light From Here to Anywhere 213

Part V: Hybrids: Exploring More Complicated Optical Systems 227

Chapter 16: Photography: Keeping an Image Forever 229

Chapter 17: Medical Imaging: Seeing What’s Inside You (No Knives Necessary!) 247

Chapter 18: Optics Everywhere: Exploring Other Medical, Industrial, and Military Uses 259

Chapter 19: Astronomical Applications: Using Telescopes 271

Part VI: More Than Just Images: Getting into Advanced Optics 285

Chapter 20: Index of Refraction, Part 2: You Can Change It! 287

Chapter 21: Quantum Optics: Finding the Photon 301

Part VII: The Part of Tens 311

Chapter 22: Ten Experiments You Can Do Without a $1-Million Optics Lab 313

Chapter 23: Ten Major Optics Discoveries — and the People Who Made them Possible 319

Index 325