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Optoelectronics & Communications

Miles Padgett: Optical tweezers and twisted beams of light

Harnessing orbital angular momentum promises to enhance light's ability to carry information.
18 May 2012, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201205.12

Miles Padgett is Professor of Optics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow. He heads a 15-person team covering a wide spectrum from blue-sky research to applied commercial development, with funding from government and industry.

Padgett is recognized for his studies in the field of optics and in particular of optical angular momentum. His contributions include an optical spanner for spinning micron-sized cells, use of orbital angular momentum to increase the data capacity of communication systems and an angular form of the quantum Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paradox.

In 2001 Padgett was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2007/8 he was a Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society Senior Research Fellow. From 2009 he has held a Royal Society/Wolfson Merit Award. In 2011 he was appointed to the Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy and became a Fellow of the Optical Society. In 2009 Padgett was awarded the Institute of Physics, Young Medal "for pioneering work on optical angular momentum." In 2008 Padgett was awarded the UK Institute of Physics, Optics and Photonics Division Prize for a "distinguished record of achievement in research that spans fundamental aspects of optical angular momentum and applied optical sensors."