Category Archives: Optics

Superoscillations: imaging beyond the limits of diffraction

This past week I gave a virtual talk to the Charlotte Amateur Astronomy Club about a fascinating development in wave physics and imaging called “superoscillations,” and I thought I would record a version that I could share here! Hopefully the … Continue reading

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The Anniversary of the Laser at Cambridge University Press – Part 2!

As promised, here’s the link to part 2 of my two-part series of posts at Cambridge University Press on the 60th anniversary of the laser! This post features a discussion of the basic ideas of how a laser works, like … Continue reading

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The Anniversary of the Laser at Cambridge University Press – Part 1!

On May 16, 1960, Theodore Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories was the first person to create the now ubiquitous and important source of light that we know as the LASER – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. This year … Continue reading

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The first news report of the laser (1960)

So this year is the 60 year anniversary of the invention of the laser, which was finally accomplished by Theodore Maiman on May 16, 1960 (mark your calendar!).  I recently wrote a blog post about the physics and history of … Continue reading

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Forgotten Milestones in the History of Optics: video!

Okay, here’s one more classic video from my regular seminar series: Forgotten Milestones in the History of Optics! This was one of the earliest semi-popular seminars I put together. More videos and posts to come!

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How Not To Be Seen: the video!

Continuing my series of uploaded videos, tonight I recorded a version of my How Not To Be Seen: The history and science of invisibility seminar, which I’ve given and revised for probably close to ten years now!  I’ve shared links … Continue reading

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Vortices in beams of light and vortex coronagraphy video!

I while ago, I shared slides from a talk I gave at the Charlotte Amateur Astronomy Club on “Vortices in beams of light and vortex coronagraphy.” Now that I, like everyone else, am more or less homebound, I thought I … Continue reading

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Visualizing the geometric phase of light!

Another post inspired by my book on Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics! I talk about geometric phases in the book in the context of falling cats, but here I focus on the polarization of light. I regularly argue that most … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Taylor sees the (feeble) light (1909)

Most people, even non-scientists, are aware these days of the notion that light acts sometimes like a wave, sometimes like a particle, depending on the circumstances. This wave-particle duality is a fundamental aspect of nature, applying to all elementary particles, … Continue reading

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