June 2013

A laser beam carries orbital angular momentum that is tightly focused in an optical trap. Bessel beams are used extensively in these traps. Courtesy of Andrew Forbes.

Unraveling Bessel Beams

Angela Dudley, Martin Lavery, Miles Padgett and Andrew Forbes

Since their discovery in the late 1980s, Bessel beams have found their way into many disciplines, including optical tweezing and precision drilling. Researchers are now looking to these light beams as a means of transferring data. But first they must load them with information and then unravel the encoded messages they carry.

Accelerating Optical Beams

Thanks to their unique interference, accelerating beams appear to curve as they travel. They require no waveguiding structures or external potentials and appear even in free space. This beautiful phenomenon has led to many intriguing ideas and exciting new applications.

Louis de Broglie and the Wave Nature of the Electron

Louis de Broglie was a Frenchman of noble birth who many believed would become a great statesman or diplomat. Instead, he changed our understanding of how the universe works by developing a theory for the wave-particle duality of electrons.

Fluorescence Front Runner

New Resources for Educating Precision Optics Technicians

U.S. Patent Reform and Photonics Companies


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