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Optical Materials - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780126441406, 9780080513201

Optical Materials

1st Edition

Authors: Joseph Simmons Kelly Potter
eBook ISBN: 9780080513201
Hardcover ISBN: 9780126441406
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 18th October 1999
Page Count: 408
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Optical Materials presents, in a unified form, the underlying physical and structural processes that determine the optical behavior of materials. It does this by combining elements from physics, optics, and materials science in a seamless manner, and introducing quantum mechanics when needed. The book groups the characteristics of optical materials into classes with similar behavior. In treating each type of material, the text pays particular attention to atomic composition and chemical makeup, electronic states and band structure, and physical microstructure so that the reader will gain insight into the kinds of materials engineering and processing conditions that are required to produce a material exhibiting a desired optical property. The physical principles are presented on many levels, including a physical explanation, followed by formal mathematical support and examples and methods of measurement. The reader may overlook the equations with no loss of comprehension, or may use the text to find appropriate equations for calculations of optical properties.

Key Features

  • Presents the optical properties of metals, insulators, semiconductors, laser materials, and non-linear materials
  • Physical processes are discussed and quantified using precise mathematical treatment, followed by examples and a discussion of measurement methods
  • Authors combine many years of expertise in condensed matter physics, classical and quantum optics, and materials science
  • The text is written on many levels and will benefit the novice as well as the expert
  • Explains the concept of color in materials
  • Explains the non-linear optical behavior of materials in a unified form
  • Appendices present rigorous derivations


Industrial libraries and research groups in the industry dealing with optics and optical devices including lasers, fiber optic communications, applications to materials characterization, thin film processes, vacuum techniques,and electronic devices and principles, as well as spectroscopy. Libraries at most research and academic institutions where there is activity in optics and optics-related fields including applications in materials, condensed matter physics, and electronics

Table of Contents

Wave Propagation
Optical Properties of Conductors
Optical Properties of Insulators 1--Fundamentals
Optical Properties of Insulators 2--Some Applications
Optical Properties of Semiconductors
Optical Gain and Lasers
Non-Linear Optical Behavior of Materials


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1999
18th October 1999
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Authors

Joseph Simmons

Retired Eminent Professor and Baucke Chair at the Florida Gulf Coast University (Fort Myers, FL) where he was the Founding Director of the Emergent Technologies Institute for 5 years, which culminated in the building of the off-campus ETI teaching and research facility and a solar field installation. Simmons retired from the University of Arizona in 2013 after serving as Head of the Materials Science and Engineering Department since 2000. During that time, in addition to conducting research into quantum confinement and ultrafast optical processes in semiconductors, Simmons investigated new photovoltaic materials and a variety of energy storage technologies. Under the direction of Simmons, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering started unique degree-granting programs in optical materials science, computational materials research, and heritage conservation science. Simmons joined the University of Arizona as Department Head, after serving 16 years as Professor in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Florida. His prior posts were in the Physics Department of the Catholic University of America (10 years), the National Bureau of Standards (currently NIST) (8 years) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (4 years). Joseph Simmons graduated with a BS (University of Maryland), an MS (John Carroll University) and a PhD (Catholic University) in Physics. His studies have spanned numerous topics in condensed matter physics, optical physics and computational materials modeling and have included: (1) fundamental studies of quantum-size effects on excitons in nanoclusters, (2) time-resolved measurements of optical properties and carrier dynamics in wide bandgap semiconductors, (3) investigations of the processes underlying linear and non-linear optical behavior in inorganic glasses, including electronic Kerr non-linearity and permanent and transient photosensitivity of glass films, (4) atomistic simulations of optical and mechanical properties of various solids, and (5) non-linear viscous flow and rheological behavior of molten glasses. Simmons is the author of over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles, 16 US patents, 4 book chapters and the editor of 2 books. Simmons was the Editor of the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids for over 10 years.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Arizona, ret., Tucson, Arizona - USA

Kelly Potter

Kelly S. Potter is a Professor and Director of Graduate Studies of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor of Optical Sciences, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor of the Indigenous Food, Energy and Water Systems Graduate Interdisciplinary Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Potter received her B.S. in Physics in 1986 from Florida State University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in 1990 and 1994 respectively in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona. In addition, she served as a research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Université de Rennes (France), and the Naval Research Laboratories between 1985 and 1990. Dr. Potter spent nearly 10 years at Sandia National Laboratories, from 1994 to 2003, ending in the position of Principal Member of Technical Staff and Project Manager for Advanced Optical Technologies. In 2003 she left Sandia National Laboratories to return to academia at the University of Arizona. Dr. Potter is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), Director of the Arizona Research Initiative for Solar Energy (AzRISE), and is the current Vice-Chair of the Hardened Electronics and Radiation Technology (HEART) Society. She served on the Executive Committee of the Glass and Optical Materials Division of ACerS between 2009 and 2013, on the Steering Committee of the HEART Society from 2009-2012 and again from 2015-2024, as executive editor of the Journal of Radiation Effects Research and Engineering (JRERE) from 2015 to 2018, and has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids since 2011. She is the co-author of three textbooks in the field of optics, has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, has delivered over 150 scholarly presentations to international audiences, and holds several patents. Her research, for which she has received a number of awards, focuses on radiation-hardened optics, photosensitive materials and devices, and sustainable energy systems.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona - USA


"For technically intermediate or advanced readers, Simmons (U. of Florida-Gainsville) and Potter (Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque) explore the underlying mechanisms that make optical materials what they are and determine how they behave. They group characteristics of the materials into classes with similar behavior and present a broad range of optical materials behavior in order to show which properties are held in common and which differ between various classes of materials. They emphasize atomic composition and chemical makeup, electronic states and band structure, and physical microstructure." --Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

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