BOOKS & MEDIA UPDATE
Magnetic Microscopy and Nanostructures Herbert Hopster and Hans Peter Oepen (eds.) Springer (2005), 314 pp. ISBN: 3-540-40186-5 $119 / £77 / 99.95
This book presents a comprehensive collection of overview articles on novel microscopy methods for nanoscale imaging of magnetic structures. It provides a source of reference for graduate students and newcomers to the field, covering synchrotron-based methods, spinpolarized electron methods, and scanning probe techniques.
What is What in the Nanoworld: A Handbook on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Victor E. Borisenko and Stefano Ossicini Wiley (2004), 347 pp. ISBN: 3-527-40493-7 $185 / £100 / 150
This introductory handbook summarizes the terms and definitions, important phenomena, and regulations related to nanostructures. Each of the more than 1000 entries interprets the term or definition and presents the phenomena behind it.
Introduction to Nanoscale Science and Technology Massimiliano Di Ventra et al. (eds.) Kluwer Academic (2004), 632 pp. ISBN: 1-4020-7720-3 $89.95 / £61.50 / 79.95
Nanophotonics: an overview Paras N. Prasad’s new book expands on his short course for photonicsoriented conferences to give a broad and comprehensive overview of nanophotonics in an informal and accessible style. It could also be used as a text for an introductory graduate-student-level seminar, says Naomi J. Halas. It is truly a daunting task to attempt to write a book for a rapidly emerging field, and an interdisciplinary one at that. Inevitably, by the time the book goes to press, the intellectual landscape of the field may have changed significantly. At best, one can hope for a relatively broad survey that will no doubt be a snapshot of some, at least in the author’s opinion, of the most promising areas at the time that the book was submitted for publication. I believe that this is an apt description of the book on nanophotonics by Paras N. Prasad. This book was based on a short course in nanophotonics that was developed by Prasad for presentation at technical conferences. The likely intended audience would, therefore, be individuals with a mainstream background in photonics who are unfamiliar with this new area. Such an audience would already have the technical background in and familiarity with nonlinear optics and with other areas within photonics, but would perhaps be less familiar with nanophotonic materials or nearfield optics, for example. That said, the book has several strengths and weaknesses.
book is very pleasant and several of the pedagogical discussions are quite clear for the generalist. There are some ways in which this book could be improved or supplemented with other readings or texts, however. One area where more information could be provided is on materials chemistry topics, such as polymers and other organic structures. Several times the name of a molecule or polymer structure is expressed as an abbreviation without giving the actual chemical name or structure. These topics are therefore a bit confusing to the reader who is unfamiliar with the use of polymers in these applications. Also, a background in nonlinear optics is expected of the reader since, in this case as well, abbreviations for specific processes are given and the full name or origin is not specified. A more systematic use of original references, other books, or review articles, which would provide a more comprehensive background for the reader, would be extremely helpful in this context. For course usage, I would recommend that this text be supplemented with a more extensive background reading list. I feel, however, that this book Paras N. Prasad
This book not only provides a broad introduction for undergraduate seniors and early graduate students, but also acts as a primer for academic, industrial, and government researchers. Arranged in seven sections, each of the 23 chapters has exercises and general references to encourage students to expand on the topics discussed. A CD-ROM includes color copies of all figures, easing preparation of lecture materials.
The overall outline and structure of the book is quite broad and comprehensive. Here, breadth rather than depth is emphasized. Each topic is discussed in an informal, overview style with very useful contextual information but little detailed background. In general, this survey of topics strongly emphasizes the author’s own work in addition to highlighting a broad variety of results from many important researchers in each field. This book would, therefore, be complementary to future books that may appear on this topic emphasizing the underlying physics of subwavelength photonic structures or near-field optics from a more theoretical perspective.
could be used as one of the texts for an introductory graduate-student-level seminar in nanophotonics, since such a course offering typically attracts students from a wide variety of disciplines. Also, as more books on the topic of nanophotonics appear and become available, new students, as well as experienced researchers, will be able to access a variety of resources that will, in total, provide a balanced and comprehensive view of this extremely broad and rapidly developing field.
Expert Graduate Undergraduate
Overall, a balanced coverage between materials science, chemistry, physics, and biomedical applications is achieved. Also, the visual layout of the
Naomi J. Halas is the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Professor of Chemistry at Rice University, Houston, Texas.
Nanophotonics Wiley (2004), 432 pp., ISBN: 0-471-64988-0 $84.95 / £50.50 / 70.80