Selected Works of Emil Wolf Published as Vol. 29 in World Scientific Series in 20th Century PhysicsPage Title

June 18, 2001

World Scientific Series in 20th Century Physics - Vol. 29


by Emil Wolf (University of Rochester)

This invaluable book presents most of the important papers of Emil Wolf, published over half-a-century. It covers chiefly diffraction theory (especially the analysis of the focal region), the theory of direct and inverse scattering, phase-space methods in quantum mechanics, the foundation of radiometry, phase conjugation and coherence theory. Several papers which have become classics of the optical literature are included, such as those on Wolf's rigorous formulation of the theory of partial coherence and partial polarization, the introduction of diffraction tomography, and his discovery of correlation-induced shifts of spectral lines (often called the Wolf effect). There are also papers dealing with the historical development of optics and some review articles.

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The 20th Century has witnessed one of the most remarkable episodes in the history of man's changing perception of the universe. Following the advent of the revolutionary theories of relativity and quantum physics in the early part of the century, scientific research has rushed onwards at an almost bewildering speed. Theoretical developments like quantum electrodynamics, quantum chromodynamics, chaos, superconductivity, big bang cosmology, and superstrings have raced forward to keep pace with new technologies like the increasingly sophisticated particle accelerators, supercomputers, laser technologies, and satellite observatories. The scientific ideas and techniques of today would have been inconceivable to physicists of the 19th Century, so much has the paradigm of scientific thinking been altered.

To provide an important historical perspective of and insight into th breathtaking scientific developments of this century, we present here the Series in 20th Century Physics. Theis book series will focus on historical accounts of the progress of different aspects of physics, collections of important scientific papers of eminent physicists, and works or festschrifts dedicated to the leading physicists of this century.