Light Gets Tied Up
A team of UK physicists have created knots of light using special holograms. Light is often thought of as flowing in a straight line, but it can also flow in whirls. These whirls of light create lines in space known as 'optical vortices', where the light has zero intensity. Holograms direct the flow of light and can be used to create optical vortices. The team of physicists created special holograms using the knot theory of mathematics to create knots in optical vortices. The success of the specially designed holograms not only opens up new doors in the field of laser devices, but also brings to light a physical application of the once abstract thinking of the knot theory of mathematics.
Image: Light painting with sparklers by Christopher Neugebauer on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.Tweet