Those who know me well know that I’ve been working hard for several years on a new optics textbook. Well, I can finally say that it is available for pre-order on Amazon! The book is Singular Optics, by me: Gregory J. Gbur!
“Singular optics” is a subfield of optics that covers the properties of wavefields in regions where the wave can be said, in various senses, to be “singular.” This includes the study of optical vortices, where light swirls around a central axis and often has orbital angular momentum associated with it, but much more beyond that. I wrote a blog post explaining the basics of singular optics some five years ago; since then, I’ve learned so much more in the process of writing the book, and I hope to share some (non-technical) explanations in the run-up to publication.
The book is aimed at graduate students in optics, but I have endeavored to make it accessible to advanced undergraduates as well. The writing and explanations are benefited by my nine years of experience blogging right here, which has taught me to give intuitive explanations for phenomena, whenever possible.
I designed the cover image myself! It is based on my own published work on the manifestation of “Hilbert’s Hotel” in vortex systems; I wrote an early blog post on this that can be read here, or you can read a more up-to-date post I wrote for American Scientist.
I’m really pleased with the blurbs I got for the book from colleagues, which I reproduce from the Amazon page below:
“Not just the first complete overview of Singular Optics, but also eminently readable!”
–Taco Visser, Professor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
“This new book provides a firm and comprehensive grounding both those looking to acquaint themselves with the field and those of us that need reminding of the things we thought we knew, but hitherto did not understand: an essential point of reference.”
– Miles Padgett, Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy, University of Glasgow
This engagingly written text provides a useful pedagogical introduction to an extensive class of geometrical phenomena in the optics of polarization and phase, including simple explanations of much of the underlying mathematics.
– Michael Berry, University of Bristol, UK
All three are important experts in the field of singular optics. Taco Visser, admittedly, is my former postdoctoral advisor, but the other two are not! Michael Berry is one of the founders of singular optics, and I am humbled and flattered that I received an endorsement from him.
The book will be available on November 28 of this year! If you’re an optics person, please consider taking a look. I consider it my best work!