The field of optics is changing rapidly and frequent updating of texts is necessary to keep pace. In addition, a solid grounding in the fundamentals is essential to thoroughly understand what is happening in this increasingly complex area. This work starts at an elementary level with the first nine chapters devoted to the basics of optics. Chapters 10-13 cover topics whose importance has increased enormously since the advent of the laser. Chapters 14-18 herald the impending takeover of the communication field from electrons to photons, various aspects of optical measurements and the classical ideas of non-linear optics. Finally, the later chapters reveal how we can go beyond the subjective judgment in a scientific approach to the question of assessment; detail the operation of the laser itself; examine a number of important applications and much more. Also included are examples to clarify points made throughout the text.