Researchers from the Universities of Southampton and Glasgow have succeeded in tying knots in light beams.
Using a computer-designed hologram, they created threads of darkness embedded in a laser beam. The hologram bends the direction of optical energy flow, so these dark threads form loops. The loops can then be linked together, or tied into knots.
Dr Mark Dennis, a University of Southampton mathematician, worked in collaboration with Professor Miles Padgett, Dr Johannes Courtial, and Jonathan Leach in the Optics group in the University of Glasgows Department of Physics and Astronomy. Their findings are set out in a paper ‘Knotted threads of darkness’ which is published in Nature this week (11 November 2004).
Sarah Watts | alfa
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