Principles of Adaptive Optics: 4th Edition (Hardback) book cover

Principles of Adaptive Optics

4th Edition

By Robert K. Tyson

CRC Press

360 pages | 4 Color Illus. | 109 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-11-24
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Principles of Adaptive Optics describes the foundations, principles, and applications of adaptive optics (AO) and its enabling technologies. Addressing the fundamentals of AO at the core of new uses in biomedical imaging, communications, high-energy lasers, and astronomy, this fully revised and significantly expanded Fourth Edition:

  • Contains all-new problem sets at the end of each chapter
  • Incorporates cutting-edge research, with hundreds of new citations
  • Adds a new section on the practical implications of control algorithms
  • Includes a practical roadmap for developing a viable stable multichannel control system
  • Presents new practical calibration techniques and new information on phase diversity for wavefront sensing
  • Updates coverage of AO systems—e.g., confocal AO scanning ophthalmoscopes and National Ignition Facility (NIF) beam path AO
  • Features fresh material on multiconjugate adaptive optics, extra-solar planet detection, optical coherence tomography, pyramid wavefront sensors, micromachined deformable mirrors, and more

Principles of Adaptive Optics, Fourth Edition provides a complete update of the most definitive text for the field.


"This book is a classic that is a must for any adaptive optics researcher, but written in a way that is approachable for even someone with a casual interest in the technology."

—Justin D. Mansell, PhD, MZA Associates Corporation and Active Optical Systems, LLC, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

"… an unrivaled go-to resource for anyone entering the field of adaptive optics. … This fourth edition further strengthens its status as an indispensable and authoritative guide to a continuously expanding and diversifying field."

—Gaspard Duchene, University of California, Berkeley, USA

"The authoritative text on adaptive optics. … This fourth edition has been updated to include the latest advances, and will remain the standard text for my students."

—Gordon Love, Professor of Physics, Durham University, UK

"Highly recommended. The fourth edition of a time-honored textbook; it may well be the primary textbook in the field. Each chapter includes about one page of problems and questions, a valuable feature if the book is used in a university environment. Newcomers to the field as well as seasoned researchers will welcome the text's breadth."

Choice (Review by J. Lambropoulos, University of Rochester)\

"this is an extraordinary resource in adaptive optics and seems to have become the bible for anyone in the field. Do you need the new edition? – Yes!"

Contemporary Physics (Nov 2017), review by Dr. Richard S. Shorter

Table of Contents

History and Background



Physical Optics

Terms in Adaptive Optics

Questions and Problems


Sources of Aberrations

Atmospheric Turbulence

Thermal Blooming

Nonatmospheric Sources

Questions and Problems


Adaptive Optics Compensation

Phase Conjugation

Limitations of Phase Conjugation

Artificial Guide Stars

Lasers for Guide Stars

Combining the Limitations

Linear Analysis

Partial Phase Conjugation

Questions and Problems


Adaptive Optics Applications and Systems

Adaptive Optics Imaging Systems

Beam Propagation Systems

Unconventional Adaptive Optics

System Engineering

Questions and Problems


Wavefront Sensing

Directly Measuring Phase

Direct Wavefront Sensing—Modal

Direct Wavefront Sensing—Zonal

Indirect Wavefront Sensing Methods

Wavefront Sampling

Detectors and Noise

Questions and Problems


Wavefront Correction

Modal Tilt Correction

Modal Higher-Order Correction

Segmented Mirrors

Deformable Mirrors

Bimorph and Unimorph Corrector Mirrors

Membrane and Micromachined Mirrors

Edge Actuated Mirrors

Large Correcting Optics

Special Correction Devices

Questions and Problems


Reconstruction and Controls


Single-Channel Linear Control

Multivariate Adaptive Optics Controls

Wavefront Reconstruction

Beyond Linear Control

Practical Implementation of Control Algorithms

Applications to Postprocessing

Questions and Problems


Summary of Important Equations

Atmospheric Turbulence Wavefront Expressions

Atmospheric Turbulence Amplitude Expressions

Adaptive Optics Compensation Expressions

Laser Guide Star Expressions

About the Author

Robert K. Tyson is a professor emeritus of physics and optical science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte). He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Penn State and MS and PhD degrees in physics from West Virginia University. Prior to joining the faculty at UNC Charlotte, he worked in the aerospace industry designing optical systems in support of strategic-defense high-energy laser weapons systems. A fellow of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), he is now retired, living in Florida with his wife Peggy and cat Guinevere. He doesn’t play golf, but enjoys pickleball, farkle, and pétanque.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Physics