Quantum optics

Quantum optics

Books Quantum Optics Edited by S. M. Kay and A. Maitland Academic Press. 1970. 568. g7.75. This book describes the proceedings of the tenth Scottis...

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Optics Edited by S. M. Kay and A. Maitland

Academic Press. 1970. 568. g7.75. This book describes the proceedings of the tenth Scottish Universities summer school in Physics, held in 1969. This summer school has now established a fine reputation for itself and draws large numbers of participants from throughout the world who come to hear lectures from physicists who are well known in their fields of research. In my opinion, two out of the ten lectures are so well written and concise that I would recommend the book on account of these alone despite its cost. The first of these is Professor Glauber’s article on the quantum theory of COherence which has been reproduced from a tape recording of his lecture with little or no editing. As a result, lengthy mathematical derivations are absent; instead Professor Glauber develops the subject by explaining in a qualitative fashion the points of physical interest or significance. Most of the important mathematical results are quoted and explained using plausibility arguments and illustrated with well chosen examples, with frequent reference to the Hanbury-Brown Twiss experiment. This may not be to the liking of the theoretician, but he is adequately catered for in other articles, which will probably be out of the depth of most experimentalists not actively engaged in the subject under discussion. The second lecture which stands out is by Professor G.W. Series on optical pumping and related optics. This article serves as an excellent review of the great amount of work which has been done in this field over the past ten years. The lecture is very thoroughly illustrated and referenced, and fills an important gap in the literature. Emphasis is on magnetic resonance and level crossing experiments on free atoms in excited or ground states. The reader is not confused by unnecessary detail and by reviewing the whole range of experiments that have been performed, using representative examples, before outlining the theory, the latter takes on a much more meaningful perspective. Dr T.W.B. Kibble’s article on quantum electrodynamics also deserves praise, particularly as it can be read and easily understood as a whole, without constantly referring to other sources for amplification. This contrasts with Professor Bloembergen’s review of non-linear optical phenomena, in which one is pitched into theories of stimulated Raman scattering, Brillouin scattering and selfinduced transparency presumably on the assumption that the audience and/or reader will already know the more elementary details. To a greater or lesser extent similar criticism can be levelled at the remaining lectures in the book. Some of these are extremely lengthy, and contain laborious mathematical proofs in which one completely loses sight of the physics involved for example, Professor H. Haken ‘The semiclassical and quantum theory of the laser’; others are so sketchy that it requires much calculation and thought of


Optics and Laser Technology

August 1971

one’s own to proceed from one line to the next, (especially E.R. Pike ‘Photon statistics’). Possibly the interests of the participants at the school justified this approach but the list of these given at the beginning of the book leads one to doubt this assumption. Research workers, both experimental and theoretical, to whom this book is directed, may well find that the cost of the book is too great for the one or two articles which may be of interest to them. Could not future editors exclude some of the lectures of highly specialized interest in an effort to bring down the cost of production, or alternatively arrange to publish the proceedings in two volumes? J.S. Deech

Lens Aberration

Data by J.M. Palmer

No 1 in the series Monographs on Applied Optics. Adam Hilger. 1971.55.00 This monograph is the first in a series of revised versions of the MSc dissertations prepared by graduates of the Imperial College Applied Optics Course. It seems fitting that it should be concerned with one of the more classical aspects of Optics namely the aberration evaluation of optical systems. In fact the author has compiled an extremely useful resume of many of the classical and current ways in which a lens designer can evaluate the quality of his optical systems. For example, the construction of a computer programme which will establish the paraxial constants of a system and then set-up and trace real (infinite angle) rays through an optical system is discussed along with the investigation of the degree of off-axis vignetting which exists in the system. Conventional image analysis, such as transverse, longitudinal and angular ray aberrations, and image distortion, is explained along with some of the more specialized forms. The latter include:- spot diagrams, (with several good illustrations) diapoint aberration analysis, and the transverse ray vector due to Kingslake. The offence against the Abbe sine condition (OSC) equations are derived and the author rightly stresses their usefulness in providing a quick method of checking the off-axis performance of a small field of view simple system. Two approximate but very convenient methods of calculation of particular aberrations, namely sagittal and tangential astigmatism for the close to principal ray region and chromatic aberration from the Conrady (d - D) 6n in chromatic path length difference are both fully described. The chapter on aberration tolerances is highly informative in its treatment of the tolerancing of some of the individual aberrations. In a lens system these tolerances are estimated by using the Strehl intensity ratio criterion for near diffraction - limited resolution and by using the Hopkins OTF based criteria for systems which are required to near diffraction limited response at frequencies considerably less than the diffraction limited cut-off frequency.