Books on microwave
Here we will provide reviews
on some of the available books that can help you with microwaves.
There are hundreds of titles out there, so this is going to take
some time to come up with the best. By clicking one of the links
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Go to our
page on Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
(DTU) and follow the link to download Dr. Vitaliy Zhurbenko's
two new books, "Passive Microwave Components and Antennas"
and "Advanced Microwave Circuits and Systems".
"Electromangetica Waves and Antennas" by Sophocles J. Orfanidis can be downloaded from the Rutgers site here.
Update September 2012: MYJ's filter book is available for free as a scanned pdf in our download area. It is in the public domain so there is no harm in grabbing a copy!
Man of High Fidelity: Edwin Howard Armstrong, a Biography
By Lawrence Lessing
||First published in 1956, this is the definitive work on Edwin Howard Armstrong's life. Out of print, but available used in paperback. Armstrong invented the feedback amplifier, the superhet receiver and FM radio. For these accomplishments, RCA pretty much tried to destroy his life.
Tuxedo Park : A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed the Course of World War II
by Jennet Conant
||This is the only book on Alfred Lee Loomis's life, first published in 2003. Fueled with Wall Street money that he held in cash during the 1929 crash, Loomis developed an incredible private laboratory for research into topics such as radar, ultrasonics, EEG and nuclear, and formed a close association with many of the top scientists of the day. He personally invented LORAN, which is still used today for keeping aircraft on course. He was the founder of Rad Lab, and often kicked in his own money when the government fell short. He was not in the science game for name recognition or money, just for the good of mankind.
The Tube Guys
By Norman H. Pond
|This book is
about the history of vacuum tubes, with an emphasis on high-power
microwave varieties, back
in the day when companies were run by engineers who worked hard,
took risks, and didn't suffer fools lightly. You'll learn about
the origins of the magnetron,
the traveling wave tube, the carcinotron, the ubitron, the klystron,
the backward wave oscillator, and much more. There's plenty
of discussion on the history
of the microwave oven as well. There's company histories
of Raytheon, Varian, Litton, Sperry, GE, RCA, Sylvania, AT&T,
Federal Telegraph (ITT), Westinghouse, e2v, Eimac, Bomac, Hughes,
Microwave Associates, Huggins, Watkins Johnson, Roger White
Electron Devices, SFD, Teledyne, Northrop Grumman, MLI, Star
Microwave, M-Square Microteck, and Asian and European tube companies,
it almost puts our "where
are they now page" to shame! You'll learn that the
Varian brothers were practically communists, their original
goal was to establish a commune with a working farm where engineers
could live grow their own vegetables and chickens. A water leak
at Varian once caused foam rubber "falsies" to float
away from the company across the street... this book is Solid
Gold for microwave nerds everywhere!
By Erik Larson
is a thoroughly entertaining tale that provides information
on how Guglielmo
Marconi went from tinkerer/dreamer (or maybe obsessed crackpot)
to set up the Marconi Company that soon dominated wireless telegraphy.
You'll learn about massive peak-bog-fueled steam-powered generators
powering spark-gap transmitters, and coherer receivers, which
are now in microwave engineering's fascinating compost heap.
The book also tells how an infamous murderer was apprehended
on a transatlantic ocean liner. The ship's wireless traffic
to Scotland Yard was intercepted by newsmen who built up the
story, while no one on the ship but the captain and the wireless
operator knew what was going down.
Fire in the
Belly Building a World-leading High-tech Company from Scratch in
by Jerry D. Neal with Jerry Bledsoe
|The title of
this book made us buy it just to make fun of it. The boyz at
RF Micro (and the rest of us) look a little too well fed to
have "fire in the belly" like the Oakies did picking
crops in California during the Great Depression. Tumultuous
times? Like the French Revolution? Didn't RF Micro just sprout
up because they had the right idea at the right time?
The book didn't disappoint, but
in the opposite sense of the reason that we bought it. It's a great
read! This is the story about how a chain-smoking visionary engineer
(Bill Pratt), a hands-on fab and test guy (Powell Seymour) and a
NASCAR fan and marketeer (Jerry Neal) found themselves laid off
from Analog Devices after developing "RF stuff" that the
company didn't see any market potential for. Founding RF Micro Devices
in 1991, their original market play was to be a fabless source of
amplifiers for the handset market, processing three-inch GaAs HBT
wafers at TRW in California. Working 16 hour days for no pay the
first year, the founders couldn't have been more enthused if they
Rabbitt in his briar patch. After some disastrous reliability
problems were worked out, they went on to swamp the capacity of
TRW's fab in a few short years and built the biggest GaAs fab campus
in the world in their home town of Greensboro North Carolina. "Fire
in the Belly" refers to Jerry's need for a roll of Tums while
maintaining a stream of investor cash during the startup years.
We bought a used copy of the book, and it came with his autograph!
Not very many businesses go from
garage shop to $1B in ten years, but RFMD did. Their success reminds
us of a rule of thumb:
When engineers decide to quit the comforts of their employment and
start a new company, they should never attempt this without a really
good marketing guy. Engineers often think that it's simply "build
it and customers will come" but that is never the case!
Now let's have a look at essential
North Carolina culture on Youtube (sorry, Neal, we couldn't resist!)
MODERN ANTENNA DESIGN (2nd ed.)
Thomas A. Milligan
Here's a review that won Jari,
from the Finnish Defence Forces Research Centre the coveted Microwaves101
knife. Give us some time to link it to Amazon before you buy it!!
We've heard from other people that Milligan's book is a good one.
An exceptional book on antenna
design. It is very design oriented, easy to read and does not
contain long derivations of anything - the stuff we antenna designers
would skip anyway. The book deals with basic theory (of course),
basics of numerical methods, arrays and array synthesis, all the
basic radiator types, and phased arrays. In my opinion, only relevant
information for practical design work is included in the book,
no more to confuse you or make your reading experience tedious.
That is why I like it. I have used that book a lot and found it
Another excellent reference,
by the way, for practical antenna engineer is "Antenna Engineering
Handbook" (R. C. Johnson), which is a new version of legendary
book from Henry Jasik.
Here's a book on microstrip antennas
and the many ways to increase bandwidth, we found it easy to understand
even for non-antenna types.
Here's Advanced Packaging by
a team of professors from University of Arkansas. It's crammed with
useful info on materials properties, and even though it is not specifically
about microwave packaging it has a lot of good microwave stuff in
Here's a book on virtual teams.
Nothing to do with microwave engineering you say? Buy it anyway,
one of the co-authors works here!
This is our new favorite book.
Microwave Tubes by A.S. Gilmour was published in 1986, so it
isn't really new, but it is one of the best written microwave books
we have come across. It includes some great microwave
history, including tidbits about the Varian brothers, Kompfner,
Pierce, Boot and Randall. It also describes the math behind why
50 ohms was chosen way back when. This is a must-have book if
you want to learn about tubes.
If you are at all serious about designing microwave filters, you'll
need to pick up a copy of Matthaei, Young and Jones' book Microwave
Filters, Impedance-Matching Networks, and Coupling Structures,
which is still in print more than four decades after it was first
published. We like the book so much we put MY&J in the Microwave
Hall of Fame! Remember, Matthaei rhymes with paté.
Update September 2012: this book is available for free as a scanned pdf in our download area. It is in the public domain so there is no harm in grabbing a copy!
Steven Maas' book on microwave
mixers is a great resource on this topic, and his Cookbook
will really get you cookin'.
If you are interested in radar,
we have two recommendations. Merrill Skolnik's Introduction to
Radar Systems is a good reference, and George Stimson has made
radar understandable even to non-technical people in Introduction
to Airborne Radar.
The most-required book for microwave
students is David M. Pozar's Microwave Engineering, published
in 1996, but he's got two others as well. Warning, these books actually
derive formulas using calculus, which has been known to induce sleep
in baby-boomers! Pozar is now in the Microwaves101
Hall of Fame!
Les Besser's two-book series
is titled Practical RF RF Circuit Design for Modern Wireless
Systems. You can even get volume one as a digital download,
though here at Microwaves101, we prefer the hard copy. Great books,
Harlan Howe's book
on stripline circuit design, cleverly called Stripline Circuit
Design, is a little long in the tooth, but belongs on every
stripline engineer's bookshelf.
A great coplanar
waveguide book is Coplanar Waveguide Circuits Components &
Systems by Rainee N. Simons.
Principles and Design by Ulrich L. Rohde and T.T.N. Bucher is
a good reference on receivers.
Here are some oldies
but goodies: K.C. Gupta, Ramesh Garg and Rakesh Chadha's book titled
Computer-Aided Design of Microwave Circuits is full of useful formulas
on all manner of transmission line structures. Stephen F. Adam wrote
a book, sponsored by Hewlett Packard, titled Microwave Theory
and Applications. It has historic value in that it explains
slotted lines and wavemeters,
but it also is a great book for hands-on microwave experimenters.
Microwave Engineering: Passive Circuits
We recently started
referring to this book by Peter Rizzi, and we really like it for
basic theory. Buy it place it next to Pozar's book. Often if you
don't find what your looking for in one, it's in the other. Those
Massachusetts professors know how to write!
Empire of the Air
is a great book if you are interested in the history of radio. Learn
how De Forest, Sarnoff and Armstrong took radio from a mere curiosity
to a consumer product. De Forest
and Armstrong are in our
Microwave Hall all of Fame!