Physics & Astronomy

Optics: Volume 2 of Modern Classical Physics

A groundbreaking textbook on twenty-first-century waves of all sorts and their applications


Published (US):
Jun 15, 2021
Published (UK):
May 25, 2021
8 x 10 in.
69 color + 2 b/w illus. 1 table.
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Kip Thorne and Roger Blandford’s monumental Modern Classical Physics is now available in five stand-alone volumes that make ideal textbooks for individual graduate or advanced undergraduate courses on statistical physics; optics; elasticity and fluid dynamics; plasma physics; and relativity and cosmology. Each volume teaches the fundamental concepts, emphasizes modern, real-world applications, and gives students a physical and intuitive understanding of the subject.

Optics is an essential introduction to a resurgent subject. “Optics” originally referred to the study of light, but today the field encompasses all types of waves, including electromagnetic waves, from gamma rays to radio waves; gravitational waves; waves in solids, fluids, and plasmas; and quantum waves. The past few decades have seen revolutions in optics—amazing advances in nonlinear optics technology, a growing understanding of optical phenomena throughout the natural world, and an increasing appreciation of the wide-ranging applicability of optics’ central principles. Optics shows how and why this subject—which was once a standard part of physics curricula—should again be routinely taught to physics students, as well as to students in engineering, computer science, and the natural sciences.

  • Includes many exercise problems
  • Features color figures, suggestions for further reading, extensive cross-references, and a detailed index
  • Optional “Track 2” sections make this an ideal book for a one-quarter, half-semester, or full-semester course
  • An online illustration package is available to professors

The five volumes, which are available individually as paperbacks and ebooks, are Statistical Physics; Optics; Elasticity and Fluid Dynamics; Plasma Physics; and Relativity and Cosmology.

Awards and Recognition

  • Kip S. Thorne, Co-Winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics
  • Roger D. Blandford, Co-Winner of the 2016 Crafoord Prize in Astronomy and Winner of the 2020 Shaw Prize in Astronomy