Journal honors work of researchers in Münster and Birmingham

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Simulation of the lines with equal polarisation states of light as a 3-D model.

Simulation of the lines with equal polarisation states of light as a 3-D model. © WWU - Ramon Droop

A scientific paper by teams led by Cornelia Denz at the University of Münster and Mark Dennis at the University of Birmingham has made it onto the list of the world's 30 best papers of 2021. Every year, the journal "Optics and Photonics News" publishes the special volume "OPN's Year in Optics," which honors the most significant papers in the fields of optics and photonics from the previous year. From more than 100 international studies, a committee of experts selects the best 30 studies to be honored in this issue. In previous years, publications from Cornelia Denz's Nonlinear Photonics group have also been represented on the prestigious list several times.

In the awarded paper, Ramon Droop and Danica Sugic show the experimental realization of a Hopfion structure in a structured laser beam. Structured light refers to laser beams whose properties such as amplitude (brightness), phase (current state of oscillation), and polarization (spatial direction of oscillation) are tailored in space to represent a wide variety of shapes. The Hopfion is a collection of circular lines that exists in four-dimensional space. The study shows that this "Hopfion" can be transferred to our three-dimensional space via a projection, and can thus be reproduced by laser beams. Through this study, new insights into the structuring of light can be obtained, which can be used for future applications in the fields of medicine, data transmission and storage, and material processing.

Original publication:

D. Sugic, R. Droop, E. Otte, D. Ehrmanntraut, F. Nori, J. Roustekoski, C. Denz und M. R. Dennis, "Particle-like topologies in light", Nature Communications 12 , 6785 (2021).

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