Non-Zero-Order Light: Beams that can do what a Gaussian cannot

Friday, January 28, 2011 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
Siddharth Ramachandran
Speaker's Institution: 
Boston University

When we think of light, we think of a beam that looks like a spot (that is Gaussian- or Bell-shaped). However, several properties of light are dramatically altered if one were able to generate and stably propagate beams that are higher-order, spatially variant mode-solutions of a fibre. Some intriguing properties of such beams include the ability of doughnut-shaped beams to carry orbital angular momentum, or the ability of Bessel-function beams to navigate around dark objects.

This talk will introduce the physics of such interesting beam shapes. We will illustrate their utility, both from the standpoint of using them to propagate signals in fibres, for high-power laser applications, as well as for exploiting their free-space characteristics, in microscopy, quantum-state tailoring, and biomedical applications.