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Interference: The History of Optical Interferometry

Nolte has written a unique history of interferometry that is a masterpiece of research coupled with perspicuous explanations of physics.

His explanations of diverse topics such as wave–particle duality, nonlinear optics, lasers, adaptive optics, quantum optics, holography, gravitational waves, entanglement, quantum computing, encryption, photon interference and stellar interferometry are physically correct and are readily understood by the general public. A surprising lacuna is the use of adaptive optics in ophthalmic imaging.

Interference is the story of the inventors of interferometers, their applications and the new fields of optics that evolved from them. Nolte introduces interferometers, their inventors and the key experiments that they facilitated that led to new physics and new interpretations of photons, light and quantum mechanics.

Extensive notes, figures and a bibliography augment the text. The scale of the instruments spans desktop interferometers to stellar interferometer satellites. Interference induces excitement in the reader and can encourage young students to study and work in the field of optics.

Review by Barry R. Masters, Fellow of AAAS, Optica, and SPIE.

The opinions expressed in the book review section are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of OPN or its publisher, Optica (formerly OSA).


Publish Date: 28 September 2023

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