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BOOK REVIEWS

Geometrical and Visual Optics: A Clinical Introduction, 2nd ed.

Rabin, Jeff

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Optometry and Vision Science: December 2013 - Volume 90 - Issue 12 - p e306
doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000000146
  • Free
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2013. $85.00
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2013. $85.00

Excellence in eye care demands comprehension and application of clinical optics to achieve optimal spectacle, contact lens, and surgical corrections. Many texts offer this, enmeshed in complex nonclinical terms. With years of clinical, academic, and research experience, Dr. Steven Schwartz has crafted an essential optics text for optometry interns and ophthalmology residents alike: Geometrical and Visual Optics, A Clinical Introduction, 2nd ed.

Not a fan of countless equations, Dr. Schwartz emphasizes the vergence relationship (L + F = L′), along with other key formulae to solve the vast majority of clinical optical problems. This utilitarian approach is the premise for his concise, thoroughly readable text. Understand basic concepts, retain key formulae, and apply them clinically.

Text is to the point and thoroughly engaging with lead-ins like, “Let’s do a problem” and “It’s a good idea to draw a diagram—it doesn’t need to be anything fancy.” Dr. Schwartz’s brevity and clarity transform optics into an inclusive pursuit of vital knowledge and vast clinical intuition. This text will be readily understood and embraced by readers for whom English is not the primary language.

Fifteen succinct problem-based chapters focus on knowledge essential for eye care, including physics of light; refraction; reflection; vergence; ametropia; thin, thick, and multiple lens systems; prisms; accommodation; depth of field/focus; retinal image size/aniseikonia; in-depth overview of low vision optics; as well as aberrations.

Each concept is immediately followed by a sample problem to foster comprehension and application. Font size is large, lines are spaced well, and critical terms and principles appear in bold and blue text. Original figures clarify all concepts, from ray tracing to wavefront aberrometry. Tables organize information, and footnotes provide additional insight. Each chapter closes with a brief summary, key formulae, references, and self-assessment problems—invaluable for licensing examinations. Two 45-item practice examinations and appendices to explicate key concepts complete this invaluable text.

Like his popular book, Visual Perception: A Clinical Orientation, Dr. Schwartz offers a foundational optics text for eye care professionals in training and those seeking a concise review. Dr. Schwartz’s contributions to our collective success remain unmatched.

Jeff Rabin

San Antonio, Texas

© 2013 American Academy of Optometry