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Friday 07 Oct 2022Polarization textures of light

Sonja Franke-Arnold - University of Glasgow

Newman Red 12:30-13:30

 Over the last decades we have gained unprecedented experimental control over light:  we can shape its wavefronts into phase and polarisation singularities and explore its topologies. In this colloquium I will present how we generate and analyse arbitrary polarization textures. I will illustrate a kaleidoscope of effects arising from polarization textured light, including entanglement between the spatial and polarisation degrees of freedom, geometric phases arising from beam redirection, topological quasiparticles of light, i.e. optical skyrmions,  and explain how we can transfer optical polarisation textures to polariton structures in a cold atomic gas. Unlike optical polarizations, atomic spin alignments react to external fields and forces, promising applications in magnetometry and inertial sensing.

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