Before the development of lasers, all available light sources, whether used in laboratories or found in nature, generated light which underwent uncontrollable fluctuations inherent in the emission process. Such fluctuations are detrimental to many applications. This effect is almost completely suppressed in laser radiation, making it possible to use lasers for a variety of applications. The underlying theory of fluctuating optical fields is kwn as coherence theory. Ather manifestation of the fluctuations is the so-called phemen of polarization. This book is the first to provide a unified treatment of these two aspects of statistical optics, made possible by very recent discoveries, largely due to the author of this book. This will be of great interest to graduate students and researchers in physics and engineering in optical communications, the propagation of laser beams through fibers and through the turbulent atmosphere, and optical image formation. Each chapter contains problems to aid self-study.
Emil Wolf is Wilson Professor of Optical Physics at the University of Rochester, and is renowned for his work in physical optics. He has received many awards, including the Ives Medal of the Optical Society of America, the Albert A. Michelson Medal of the Franklin Institute and the Marconi Medal of the Italian Research Council. He is the recipient of seven honorary degrees from Universities around the world. Professor Wolf co-authored the well-known text Principle of Optics (with Max Born, seventh edition, Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics (with Leonard Mandel, Cambridge University Press, 1995). He is also editor of the well-known series Progress in Optics.
Winner of SPIE Joseph W. Goodman Book Writing Award 2008.