Whether you're an optical designer, optician, shop manager, or optics procurer, a working knowledge of optical fabrication can be invaluable. Have the information at your fingertips with this new Field Guide.
In Field Guide to Optical Fabrication, Ray Williamson distills the extensive knowledge gained from his long careerranging from his work at the Optical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona to positions at Spectra-Physics, Coherent, and Los Alamos National Labinto a ready reference for anyone needing to understand optical fabrication.
This Field Guide is a concise reference explaining:
What every designer should know about fabrication before making final design choices,
How to specify components before they are ordered,
The details of conventional, alternative, and emerging fabrication methods, and
How an optical manufacturer plans the work, evaluates product, and the calculations involved.
Most Field Guides address a particular subset of physics and/or mathematics, and as such can be treated in a linear exposition of theory from first principles. In contrast, optical fabrication consists of a collection of disparate crafts, technologies, and business decisions in the service of making nearly perfect physical instances of those geometric and physical theories. I have attempted to organize the subject matter in ways that make sense to me: What the designer needs to know before making final choices, how to specify the components before they are ordered, how conventional fabrication proceeds for representative components, alternative and emerging methods, how the manufacturer plans the work, product evaluation, and calculations used.
This Field Guide is intended to serve several audiences, and introduce each to the other. I hope to provide designers and purchasers with some perspectives and appreciation for the craft and business, the shop manager with a concise reference, the optician with a wider overview than one is likely to get within any single company, and the optical community at large with some insight into this fascinating and dynamic enterprise.
Thanks are due to Oliver Fähnle for inputs to synchrospeed and fluid jet. I want to particularly acknowledge three influences, true masters in the field: Dick Sumner, Norm Brown, and Frank Cooke. Dick personified excellence in craft, a passionate curiosity, and a focus on effectiveness. Norm brought the light of science and engineering to the hidden mysteries of this once-black art with accessible clarity. Frank was an inspiration to all through his boundless creativity and zest. We are in transition between 20th Century craft and 21st Century technology, and the field will be hardly recognizable in twenty years.
This Field Guide is dedicated to my wife, Lore Eargle, in recognition of her encouragement, patience, support, editing, and so much more.