This book treats optics at the level of students in the later stage of their bachelor or the beginning of their master. It is assumed that the student is familiar with Maxwell’s equations. Although the book takes account of the fact that optics is part of electromagnetism, special emphasis is put on the usefulness of approximate models of optics, their hierarchy and limits of validity. Approximate models such as geometrical optics and paraxial geometrical optics are treated extensively and applied to image formation by the human eye, the microscope and the telescope.
Polarisation states and how to manipulate them are studied using Jones vectors and Jones matrices. In the context of interference, the coherence of light is explained thoroughly. To understand fundamental limits of resolution which cannot be explained by geometrical optics, diffraction theory is applied to imaging. The angular spectrum method and evanescent waves are used to understand the inherent loss of information about subwavelength features during the propagation of light. The book ends with a study of the working principle of the laser.