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Light and Waves: A Conceptual Exploration of Physics

"Light and Waves" fills a need to educate non-science majors and laypeople on the joy of optics. This highly recommended book inspires questions, curiosity, excitement and interest in the natural universe.

The author’s admirable aim is to clearly present disparate phenomena with physical explanations that have both experimental and theoretical foundations. The author achieves this aim with physically correct explanations augmented by many colored illustrations, graphs and images of natural phenomena. The appendices aid those in need of a basic mathematical review. The spatial scales of the objects and phenomena discussed cover many orders of magnitude, from atoms to black holes.

What makes this book special is the quality of the questions, the variety of worked problems with answers, the numerous exercises and crucial additional resources. The author explains such unifying theories as relativity, quantum mechanics and the perplexing interpretation of quantum mechanics, the EPR Paradox, the prediction and detection of gravitational waves, rays and physical optics. More advanced topics such as quantum decoherence are designated with an asterisk.

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: 26 October 2023

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