Johannes Courtial

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Optical vortices generically arise when optical beams are combined. Recently, we reported how several laser beams containing optical vortices could be combined to form optical vortex loops, links and knots embedded in a light beam (Leach et al 2004). Here, we describe in detail the experiments in which vortex loops form these structures. The experimental(More)
Destructive interference may lead to complete cancellation when light waves travelling in different directions cross, and in three-dimensional space this occurs along lines that are vortices of electromagnetic energy flow. Here we confirm theoretical predictions by experimentally creating combinations of optical laser beams in which these dark threads form(More)
The polarization state of a light beam is related to its spin angular momentum and can be represented on the Poincaré sphere. We propose a sphere for light beams in analogous orbital angular momentum states. Using the Poincaré-sphere equivalent, we interpret the rotational frequency shift for light beams with orbital angular momentum [Phys. Rev. Lett. 80,(More)
We describe local light-ray rotation in terms of complex refractive indices. We show that Fermat's principle holds, and we derive an extended Snell's law. The change in the angle of a light ray with respect to the normal to a refractive-index interface is described by the modulus of the refractive-index ratio, the rotation around the interface normal is(More)
Waves are superoscillatory where their local phase gradient exceeds the maximum wavenumber in their Fourier spectrum. We consider the superoscillatory area fraction of random optical speckle patterns. This follows from the joint probability density function of intensity and phase gradient for isotropic Gaussian random wave superpositions. Strikingly, this(More)
A ray-rotation sheet consists of miniaturized optical components that function--ray optically--as a homogeneous medium that rotates the local direction of transmitted light rays around the sheet normal by an arbitrary angle [A. C. Hamilton et al., arXiv:0809.2646 (2008)]. Here we show that two or more parallel ray-rotation sheets perform imaging between two(More)
We show, theoretically and experimentally, that a sheet formed by two confocal lenticular arrays can flip one component of the local light-ray direction. Ray-optically, such a sheet is equivalent to a Dove-prism sheet, an example of a METATOY (metamaterial for rays), a structure that changes the direction of transmitted light rays in a way that cannot be(More)