Applied Digital Optics: From Micro-Optics to
Bernard C. Kress and Patrick Meyrueis
Wiley, 2009; $135.00 (hardcover).
The authors indicate that this book is aimed primarily at optical engineers and product development
and technical marketing managers. They also expect it to be of interest to graduate-level photonics students and micro-optic foundaries. Thus, the target audience is clearly composed of practitioners of this
technology. Consistent with that audience, the book provides a wealth of information on the design,
fabrication and manufacture of digital optical components.
The presentation is strongly characterized by many illustrative diagrams and photographs. Each
picture no doubt obviates 1,000 words of text. These illustrations certainly allow the reader to rapidly
appreciate the practical aspects of devices, processes and applications. Mathematical support of topics is given when necessary, but generally a combination of well-chosen words and pictures is what
carries the reader forward. In treating subwavelength gratings in digital nano-optics, the authors acknowledge the foresight of Lord Rayleigh, whose propositions awaited the arrival of adequate computing power before they could be widely adopted.
At the other end of the historical spectrum, the book brings the reader right up to date with a discussion of metamaterials, including invisibility cloaking. That section ends with a statement that could
be read as a challenge: “The lack of fabrication techniques and large losses within metamaterials are
drawbacks that hinder their industrial applications today.” Will members of the book’s target audience
give the authors cause to rewrite that statement?
Review by K. Alan Shore, Bangor University School of Electronic Engineering, Wales, United Kingdom.
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