Work by researchers from Munster and Birmingham among the top 30


Study on a new light structure is one of the most innovative developments in optics and photonics in 2021

Scientific work by the teams led by Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat (WWU) Munster and Prof. Mark Dennis from the University of Birmingham made it onto the list of the 30 best works worldwide in the fields of optics and photonics in 2021. The trade journal "Optics and Photonics News" publishes the special volume "OPN's Year in Optics" every year, in which the most important publications from these specialist areas are honored. From more than 100 international studies, a commission of experts selects the best 30 studies beforehand.

In the work that has now been awarded, Ramon Droop and Danica Sugic show the realization of a so-called Hopfion structure in a structured laser beam. Structured light describes laser beams whose properties such as amplitude (brightness), phase (current state of oscillation) and polarization (spatial direction of oscillation) are tailored to represent different shapes. A Hopfion is a collection of circular lines that exist in four-dimensional space. The study shows that this “Hopfion” can be projected into three-dimensional space and thus reproduced using laser beams. Through this investigation, new insights into the structuring of light can be gained, which can be used for future applications in the fields of medicine.

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