Light for the future: from medicine and internet communication to agriculture and energy, light and light-based technologies play a central role in human activities and continue to provide solutions to overcome global challenges.
Watch this 100 second video in which Jonathan Knight, an optics researcher at the University of Bath (UK), sums up the limitations of conventional optical fibres and provides us with an insight into his research on new fibres and their potential application.
Knight’s video insight is part of a series of light-related works from across the UK’s Institute of Physics as part of the International Year of Light (IYL). The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies is a global initiative designed to raise awareness of the importance of light and optical technologies in our lives, for our futures, and for the development of society.
To see what else is going on why not take a look at the free-to-read Physics World focus issue on optics & photonics or see the collection of papers being put together by Journal of Optics; one of the official partners of IYL 2015.
In celebration of this we have highlighted some of the latest research published across the JPhys Series on the science and applications of light.
Taken from a recent paper in JPhysB by S F C Shearer and S M K Law, this image shows a plot of the momenta of the electrons emitted by photodetachment in the Si– ion in two dimensions. The quantized frequency components of the laser pulse create the distinctive concentric ring structure in the spectrum.
JPhysD: Aluminium, the metal upon which surface plasmons was first evidenced in the 1950’s, is making its return as a ‘hot‘ material in the field owing to several promising plasmonic properties and its wide availability.
Earlier this year Nikolay Zheudev was awarded the IOP Young Medal for his pioneering, seminal work in optical metamaterials and nanophotonics; fields that have revolutionised optics in the last few years.
JPhysB: D B Milošević from the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina introduces a method to properly analyse the conservation of the projection of the total angular momentum in high-order harmonic generation. This was done by a bichromatic elliptically polarized laser field with coplanar components, this method was then applied to derive the HHG selection rules.
This review from I Vurgaftman et al published in JPhysD covers the current status of ICLs, which have proven to be a practical mid-IR source for a variety of applications. They are especially attractive when very low power consumption is required.
This special issue is a snapshot of some of the latest work in the filamentation field demonstrating fundamental physics overlapping with promising applications. The filamentation process touches on many fields: nonlinear optics, plasma physics, molecular and atomic physics, ultrafast dynamics, hydrodynamics, acoustics, and atmospheric sciences.
In their paper, published in JPhysD, Yongfeng Li et al propose a method for realising the ‘longtime dream’ of many scientists with their work on designing broadband unidirectional cloaks based on metasurfaces.
The authors conclude to say they are optimistic that the proposed unidirectional cloak could have wide applications in invisibility for electrically large objects.
JPhysB: Chunmei Zhang et al from the University of Ottawa generate space-time coupled attosecond pulse trains with a 1.8 μm wavelength laser pulse using the ‘attosecond lighthouse’ technique. The results have important implications in the field of attosecond science for photonic streaking and also as a route to generate isolated attosecond pulses from many gases with different ionization potentials.
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1. 2D photoelectron momentum spectrum for Si- in a linearly polarized field – Adapted from S F C Shearer and S M K Law 2015 J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 48 05540 2. Electric field plots for the quadrupole modes for a 40 nm radius Al sphere – Michael B Ross and George C Schatz 2015 J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 48 184004 3. Professor Nikolay Zheudev – Image reproduced with permission from Nikolay Zhludev 4. Logarithm of the harmonic intensity in false color as a function of the harmonic order n divided by r and the angle α – D B Milošević 2015 J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 48 171001 5. Journal of Physics B 6. Extending optical filaments using auxiliary dress beams – Matthew Mills et al 2015 J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 48 094014 7. Principle diagram of the proposed unidirectional cloak – Yongfeng Li et al 2015 J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 48 335101 8. The temporal electric field of the spatially chirped pulse at the focus – Chunmei Zhang et al 2015 J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 48 061001
1-2 and 4-9 copyright IOP Publishing Ltd 2015.