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Proceedings Paper

Geometry of phase and polarization singularities illustrated by edge diffraction and the tides
Author(s): Michael V. Berry
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Paper Abstract

In complex scalar fields, singularities of the phase (optical vortices, wavefront dislocations) are lines in space, or points in the plane, where the wave amplitude vanishes. Phase singularities are illustrated by zeros in edge diffraction and amphidromies in the heights of the tides. In complex vector waves, there are two sorts of polarization singularity. The polarization is purely circular on lines in space or points in the plane (C singularities); these singularities have index +/- 1/2. The polarization is purely linear on lines in space for general vector fields, and surfaces in space or lines in the plane for transverse fields (L singularities); these singularities have index +/- 1. Polarization singularities (C points and L lines) are illustrated in the pattern of tidal currents.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 May 2001
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4403, Second International Conference on Singular Optics (Optical Vortices): Fundamentals and Applications, (30 May 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.428252
Show Author Affiliations
Michael V. Berry, Univ. of Bristol (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4403:
Second International Conference on Singular Optics (Optical Vortices): Fundamentals and Applications
Marat S. Soskin; Mikhail V. Vasnetsov, Editor(s)

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