Vortices in beams of light and vortex coronagraphy

This past Friday, I was invited to give a talk at the monthly meeting of the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club, a lovely organization that has been around since 1954.  As a theoretical physicist, I am not that well-versed on astronomy but decided to give a talk on how the physics of optical vortices are now being used to improve direct observations of exoplanets, in a technique called vortex coronagraphy.

I wasn’t sure how well my talk would connect with the audience, as I’ve never talked to an astronomers club before, but it went over very well!  There were a lot of good questions afterwards and a lot of enthusiasm and curiosity.

For those not in attendance, I thought I would share the slides for my talk.  It’s not quite the same as being there in person (I like to think my speaking adds something to it), but for those who are curious about vortices and coronagraphy, it’s a nice start!

I can’t directly embed pdfs in my posts without paying a lot of money per month, but if you click on the image below, it should open the pdf for you to peruse. You can also use this link.

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