LASERS: How They Work by

LASERS: How They Work

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From the first page of the text we find ridiculous misstatement and meaningless analogy (""the best comparison to laser radiation is sunlight"") and the second page begins the author's constant practice of explaining complex phenomena in terms of even more complex and unexplained phenomena (""the laser is like an electronic oscillator, an amplifier with feedback""). In light of these defects we almost overlook the minor sins of inadequate graphic material -- all the illustrations appear to be handouts, instead of specially commissioned explanatory diagrams -- and the constant tone of ballyhoo. What is missing above all is a serious effort to explain the complex subject of the book to the interested younger reader. In any case the availability of excellent books on the same subject (Klein's Masers and Lasers, 1963, Bova's The Amazing Laser, 1971, and Brown's Lasers, 1968) eliminates any excuse for this sort of snow job.

Pub Date: July 4th, 1973
Publisher: Putnam