Optics Fundamentals

  • Pankaj K. Das


Optics deals with light waves, which are electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves include not only light waves, but also ordinary alternating current at 60Hz, radio waves, microwaves, infrared, X-rays and γ-rays. Electromagnetic waves obey Maxwell’s equations, which are introduced in Sect. 2.1, which also treats the electromagnetic wave equation followed by the plane-wave solution in homogeneous, linear isotropic space. This is followed by the derivation of Snell’s law and reflection and transmission coefficients using the transmission line approach. To make the discussion self-contained, fundamentals of transmission lines are discussed in Sect. 2.5. The concepts of group and phase velocity are introduced in Sect. 2.7. The subject of Gaussian beam propagation in free space is introduced in Sect. 2.8. To consider Gaussian beam propagation through optical elements, the matrix method of geometrical optics is reviewed first and a discussion of lens aberration is included. The matrix method is then extended to introduce gradient optical fibers. The subjects of step-index fibers and integrated optics are tackled together in Sect. 2.11. Sections 2.12–16 deal with anisotropic media, including electro-optic, acousto-optic and magneto-optic effects. The subject of diffraction is considered in Sect. 2.17, which includes a review of Fresnel and Fraunhofer regions, Fourier optics, gratings, and interferometers. Fundamentals of holography and spatial filtering are also included in this review.


Reference Beam Kerr Effect Faraday Effect Brewster Angle Uniaxial Crystal 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pankaj K. Das
    • 1
  1. 1.Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering Department, School of EngineeringRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA

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