Optics Essentials: An Interdisciplinary Guide, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Optics Essentials

An Interdisciplinary Guide, 1st Edition

By Araz Yacoubian

CRC Press

219 pages | 163 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781466551176
pub: 2014-12-19
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315216324
pub: 2018-09-03
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A Valuable Reference for Understanding Basic Optical Principals

Need a crash course in optics? If you are a non-specialist with little or no knowledge of optical components, systems, or hardware, who suddenly finds it necessary to work with optics in your given field, then Optics Essentials: An Interdisciplinary Guide is the book for you. Aimed at engineers and other interdisciplinary professionals tackling optics-related challenges, this text provides a basic overview of optical principles, concepts, and applications as well as worked examples throughout. It enables readers to gain a basic understanding of optics and sense of optical phenomena, without having to commit to extended periods of study.

Contains MATLAB® Simulations and Suggested Experiments

The book provides MATLAB simulations to help the reader visualize concepts, includes simple experiments using everyday materials that are readily available to solidify optical principles, and provides worked examples throughout. It contains a set of suggested experiments in each chapter designed to help the reader understand and visualize the basic principles. While this book assumes that the reader has a basic background in mathematics, it does not burden or overwhelm them with complex information or heavy mathematical equations. In addition, while it also briefly discusses advanced topics, readers are directed to the appropriate texts for more detailed study.

Comprised of 11 chapters, this illuminating text:

  • Describes light sources, such as lasers, light-emitting diodes, and thermal sources
  • Compares various light sources, and photometric and radiometric parameters
  • Discusses light detection, including various detector types, such as photon detectors and thermal detectors, and other topics relating to light detection
  • Addresses manipulation of light, and covers reflection, refraction, diffraction and interference, absorption, and scattering
  • Factors in polarization
  • Explores the basic principles of geometrical optics, covering ray tracing and formulation based on the assumption that light comprises of optical "rays"
  • Defines imaging systems and topics related to imaging systems
  • Refers to guiding light waves
  • Considers various topics related to optics, electronics, software, and applications
  • Covers combining optical systems with electronics and software
  • Presents various optical sensing phenomena and different types of sensors

Optics Essentials: An Interdisciplinary Guide simplifies optical principles to make it easy to grasp by technical professionals that are outside of the optical field, and serves industry professionals, technical managers, researchers, and students.


"Optical technology is essential in many applications in medicine, communication, imaging and even in such a unique field as secure document and currency forensics and authentication. Because humans strongly rely on their sense of sight, quite often a non-optical engineer considers optics as something "obvious". They simplify or completely ignore the complexity of the physics of optics and optical phenomena. A basic comprehensive optics book linking application to physics of optics is going to be very helpful."

—Dr. Tomasz Jagielinski, Cummins Allison Corporation

"… provides a basic overview of optical principles, concepts, and applications, as well as worked examples throughout the text. The author enables readers to gain a basic understanding of optics without having to commit to an in-depth study. The book includes MATLAB simulations to help the reader visualize concepts. It also contains a set of suggested experiments in each chapter. The content should be easy to grasp by technical professionals, technical managers, researchers, and students. This book is for the non-specialist with little or no knowledge of optical components, systems, or hardware."

—A. Zakery, Professor of Physics, Shiraz University, Iran, from Optics & Photonics News, October 13, 2015

"This book will enable the reader to make a start in solving the often difficult optical problems and also to learn enough to ask a consultant intelligent questions. It is almost as good as having Dr. Yacoubian In the building, if not at your elbow. The Table of Contents and Index are unusually complete and detailed. Applications in Matlab will be very "enlightening".

—Dr. Fred Jeffers, IEEE Life Fellow, San Diego, California, USA

"…a valuable introduction for students and a valuable addition to the bookshelves of non-optics professionals."

Fiber & Integrated Optics, September 2016

Table of Contents

Optical Systems and Components



Light Sources

Lasers (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation)

Light-Emitting Diodes

Selecting Light Sources

Conversion from Radiometric to Photometric Quantities

Conversion from Photometric to Radiometric Quantities

Thermal Sources

Blackbody Radiation


Light Detection

Photon Detectors

Thermal Detectors

Noise in Photodiodes

Photodetectors for Low-Light Level Detection

Integrating Spheres for Light Measurement

Lock-In Amplification for Detecting Low-Light Level Signals

Detector Figures of Merit


Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference



Manipulation of Light


Reflection from Flat Mirror


Reflection Coefficient at Dielectric Interface


Diffraction Gratings



Diffusers and Scattering

Small Particle Scattering

Large Particle Scattering

Application of Diffusers

Suggested Experiments




Birefringence, Retardation, and Wave Plates

Polarized Light Reflection

Polarization of Small Particle Scattering

Suggested Experiments


Geometrical Optics

Ray Tracing Methods

Lens Maker’s Formula

Thin Lens Formulation

Ray Tracing Formulation

Graphical Method of Ray Tracing

Principal Plane Method

Matrix Method of Ray Tracing

Sign Conventions

Beam Shaping from Laser Diode


Imaging Systems

Optical Resolution

Two-Dimensional Imaging Systems

One-Dimensional Imaging Systems; Line Scan Sensors


Monochromatic Aberrations

Chromatic Aberrations

Various Types of Illumination

Coherent Illumination

Incoherent or Partially Coherent Illumination

Point Source and Diffuse Illumination and Multiangle Illumination


Guiding Lightwaves

Light Guiding and Total Internal Reflection

Fiber Optics

Planar Waveguides and Integrated Optics

Coupling Between Fibers and Waveguides

Active Integrated Optical Devices

Suggested Simulations

Suggested Experiments


Optics, Electronics, Software, and Applications

Combining Optics, Electronics, and Software

Separating Optical and Electronics Effects


Optical Sensing

Optical Sensors and Sensing Mechanism

Sensing Change in Light Intensity

Sensing Change in Absorption

Change in Color (Wavelength)

Change in Refractive Index

Interferometric Optical Sensors

Some Applications of Interferometry

Sensing Change in Polarization Angle

Polarization-Dependent Reflection

Polarimetric-Based Electric and Magnetic Sensors

Sensing by Detecting Changes in Diffraction

Angle or Wavelength

Spectral Sensing of Temperature

Sensing Fluorescence Emission

Sensing Fluorescence Lifetime

Holography-Based Sensors

Surface Plasmon Based Sensors

Fiber Optic Sensors

Intensity Detection Fiber Optic Sensors

Evanescence Field Fiber Optic Sensors

Fiber-Grating Sensors

Michelson and Mach-Zehnder Interferometric

Fiber Optic Sensors

Sagnac Interferometer Fiber Optic Sensors for Rotation Sensors

Integrated Optical Sensors

Imaging Sensors

Starting Point to Design or Choose a Sensing System


Advanced Experiments


Advanced Topics




About the Author

Araz Yacoubian is a research scientist with experience in the optics-related fields. He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering-electrophysics from the University of Southern California. His experience includes integrated optics, nonlinear optics, optical image processing, holography, electro-optics, and optical communication. Examples of his work include a demonstration of the first water immersible hologram and its application to contact lens tinting, development of a deployable real-time liquid crystal light valve-based image-processing unit, development of a surface and subsurface detection and imaging system based on a combination of optical/acoustic methods, as well as development of novel broad spectral band detectors and imagers.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Physics