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Photonic Crystals:
Molding the Flow of Light
second edition

John D. Joannopoulos, Steven G. Johnson, Joshua N. Winn, and Robert D. Meade

Published in 2008 by Princeton University Press, this is the second edition of our undergraduate-level textbook on photonic crystals: electromagnetism in periodic (or partially periodic) geometries on the scale of the wavelength of light.

The table of contents and back-cover description for the second edition can be found on the publisher's web site.

Compared to the first edition (published in 1995), the new edition is greatly revised and expanded—it is at least twice the length of the original (going from 184 pages to 304 pages, and from 6×9-inch format to 7×10 inches), including several new chapters and substantial improvements in every pre-existing chapter.

Read the Book Online

Princeton University Press has graciously allowed us to post a PDF preprint of the entire book online:

Of course, we hope that you will purchase the book (which is beautifully printed in full color) if you find it useful, but we are happy in any case if we are able to introduce a reader to this exciting field.

(Technical note: the PDF file is best viewed in Adobe Acrobat; we've noticed that Apple's Preview version 4.0/4.1 slightly corrupts two images on pages 86 and 98 of the PDF.)

Order Online

You can compare prices from multiple vendors at this BooksPrice.com page. See also the Google Books page on this textbook.

Author Information

John D. Joannopoulos is the Francis Wright Davis Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Steven G. Johnson is an associate professor of applied mathematics at MIT. Joshua N. Winn is an assistant professor of physics at MIT. Robert D. Meade is a physicist and former research scientist at MIT, who currently works in equity trading.


Unfortunately, a few small errors were identified too late in the printing process to change, and are corrected here; we apologize for these flaws.

  • Figure 5 in chapter 9, on page 165, is missing one of the upper bands; the surrounding text is unaffected [the position of the gap(s) is unchanged]. See the corrected figure (the missing band is the nearly flat third blue line from the bottom).
  • On page 241, in appendix B, "quasicrystal (?)" should be "quasicrystal (Suck et al., 2004)" in reference to the 2004 book Quasicrystals: An Introduction to Structure, Physical Properties, and Applications, edited by J.-B. Suck et al., that is listed in the bibliography.
  • Figure 10 in chapter 4, on page 57, has a small region of extraneous shading between two of the upper bands; the same extraneous shading appears in figure 14 of chapter 4 on page 61. See the corrected figures.
  • On page 40, in chapter 3, "as can be verified from equation (5) of chapter 2" should refer instead to equation (4) of chapter 2.
  • In Table 1 on page 71, in chapter 5, the entries in the "TE" column are reversed: the dielectric band should be 9% and the air band should be 23%.