Adaptive optics systems and components have reached a level of sophistication and simplicity where they are beginning to be used beyond traditional applications in astronomy and the military. At the turn of the millennium, the technology and principles have gone beyond the laboratory into developments in medicine, manufacturing, and communications. The operation of an adaptive optics system no longer can afford a few engineers and an army of specially trained technicians. Introduction to Adaptive Optics was written to reach those interested in the technology and those needing a broad-brush explanation without wading through thousands of journal articles. It bridges the gap between many well-written popular magazine articles about adaptive optics and the few detailed texts on the subject.
Introduction to Adaptive Optics follows the structure of a full-day tutorial that I teach. I have a lot of sympathy for those who sit and listen to one topic, presented by one instructor, for a full day. Thus, the book includes some humor and a few sidebars that discuss historical elements of adaptive optics. Some principles in the book are best explained by the use of mathematics, including calculus, but the book by no means relies on an understanding of anything other than the English language and the desire to be introduced to the multidisciplinary field of adaptive optics.
Robert K. Tyson
© 2000 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers