Adaptive optics has been under development for well over 40 years. It is an indisputable necessity for all major ground-based astronomical telescopes and is the foundation for laser and wavefront sensor design. Lighter Side of Adaptive Optics is a nontechnical explanation of optics, the atmosphere, and the technology for "untwinkling" the stars. While interweaving a fictional romantic relationship as an analogy to adaptive optics, and inserting satire, humor, and philosophical rants, Tyson makes a difficult scientific topic understandable. The "why" and "how" of adaptive optics has never been more enjoyable.
"Robert Tyson's numerous puns and anecdotes form a continuous stream of silliness that made me laugh and wonder what was coming next....The technical discussions on adaptive optics are not too deep, but they are really perfect for this type of book. In a very entertaining way, he describes the fundamentals of the technology. For people who are not too technical, it is very understandable, and for people with a background in the science, it's still a fun read."
--Josh Cobb, Optical systems designer and coauthor of Light Action! Amazing Experiments with Optics
"This book is fun, it is memorable and it represents superb teaching; of course the aspiring professional will need one of Tyson's many other books with their 1000 or so up-to-date references but Lighter Side awakens the interest and will be part of my library as well as that of my high school. Everything is there in a condensed and accurate form and the power of this technology is evident; it is well indexed and the references are sufficient and up-to-date."
--R. S. Shorter, "Lighter Side of Adaptive Optics, by Robert K. Tyson," Contemporary Physics, 52:4, 370, 2011 [doi: 10.1080/00107514.2011.558924].