OPTICS, Eugene Hecht, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Reading, MA, 1987, ISBN 0-291-11600-X.

>Here is a full-blown totally mathematical optics tome for those who either are not afraid of vectors, matrices, determinants, derivatives and integrals or just have to bite the bullet and use them. What sets it apart from other texts of that ilk are all the illustrations, many of them photographs by the author, that are worth 1000 words or more, and the historical background of the discovery of these electromagnetic principles.

This edition, and its earlier incarnation, can answer just about every theoretical question on light, plus a lot of practical knowledge coming from someone who is obviously a hands-on practitioner. It is not for the mathematical faint of heart, but for someone who wants something infinitely more detailed and developed than web downloads.

I bought my copy of this text when I sat in on Dr. Tung Jeong's Optics class at Lake Forest College. Imagine me sitting in with a bunch of gung-ho Physics students! Luckily I had to attend to other duties on the days of the tests!