Laser beams: knotted threads of darkness

Leach, J., Dennis, M. R., Courtial, J. and Padgett, M. J. (2004) Laser beams: knotted threads of darkness. Nature, 432(7014), p. 165. (doi: 10.1038/432165a)

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Dark lines within a laser beam can be manipulated to form stable vortex knots. Destructive interference may lead to complete cancellation when light waves travelling in different directions cross, and in three-dimensional space this occurs along lines that are vortices of electromagnetic energy flow. Here we confirm theoretical predictions by experimentally creating combinations of optical laser beams in which these dark threads form stable loops that are linked and knotted.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Courtial, Dr Johannes and Padgett, Professor Miles and Leach, Mr Jonathan
Authors: Leach, J., Dennis, M. R., Courtial, J., and Padgett, M. J.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Nature
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):1476-4687
Published Online:10 November 2004

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