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Miles Padgett elected Fellow of Royal Society

09 May 2014

photo of Miles PadgettSPIE Fellow Miles Padgett, the Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy in the School of Physics and Astronomy at University of Glasgow and a leading authority on optical tweezers and "twisted" light, has been elected one of 50 new Fellows of the Royal Society.

Padgett is a pioneer in the study of optical angular momentum and heads a 15-person team at the University of Glasgow covering a wide spectrum of research in optics and photonics, from blue-sky research to applied instrument development.

His team's work has led to the fundamental understanding of light's momentum. Their work includes converting optical tweezers to optical spanners for spinning micron-sized objects, use of orbital angular momentum to increase the data capacity of communication systems, and developing an angular form of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) quantum paradox.

Padgett is a co-author of a paper titled "Photon-sparse, heralded imaging" that was recently presented in the Advanced Photon Counting Techniques conference at SPIE DSS 2014.

The Royal Society, the United Kingdom's national academy of science, is made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Past Fellows and Foreign Members have included Newton, Darwin and Einstein.

Other optics and photonics experts elected Fellows of the Royal Society this year included Nobel Laureate and former US Energy Secretary Steven Chu; Chunli Bai, a nanoscience expert and developer of China's first atomic force microscope; Jenny Nelson of Imperial College of London for development of fundamental physical models, simulation tools and experiments with photovoltaic devices and materials; and H. Vincent Poor of Princeton University (USA) for his fundamental contributions to information theory, statistical signal processing and wireless communications.

Also elected:

  • Steven Peter Armes of University of Sheffield (UK)
  • David Charlton, University of Birmingham (UK)
  • Richard Hills, emeritus professor at University of Cambridge (UK), who has played a leading role in the development of radio astronomy at millimeter wavelengths
  • Simon Lilly of ETH Zurich, for pioneering ambitious surveys coupling Hubble Space Telescope imaging with ground-based spectroscopy
  • Irwin McLean of University of Dundee (UK)
  • Demetri Terzopoulos of University of California, Los Angeles (USA), a researcher in computer vision and computer graphics and a co-inventor of the "active contours" algorithm

Read about Padgett's work on orbital angular momentum in the SPIE Newsroom article "Twisted light for micromanipulation and beyond."