The light and dark side of

Lindsay Miller lmiller radford. But for Radford University students, dark side and light side have very different meanings. At Radford, the light side, unfortunately, has nothing to do with a small green guy or a senior man with a robe and a light-up sword and instead is the part of town near Tyler Avenue.

The light and dark side of

Open vortex lines are in red, while closed vortex loops are in white. Light may not seem very interesting in our everyday lives. Recently, researchers from the University of Glasgow and the University of Bristol in the UK have discovered another unusual property of light — or, more accurately, the darkness within light.

As the researchers explain, natural light fields are threaded by lines of darkness, which create optical vortices that appear as black points within the light.

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The group has modeled this phenomenon, and found that the lines of darkness exhibit fractal properties with Brownian random characteristics. Further, the characteristics of these optical vortices suggest universal properties, which could help connect different areas of physics. Many people have noticed the phenomenon of laser speckle, which occurs when coherent, monochromatic laser light bounces off a rough surface, giving the surface a speckled appearance.

The black specks are interference patterns generated by a superposition of highly coherent light waves reflected from different points on the rough surface. Sometimes the speckled pattern can even appear to sparkle when the viewer moves relative to the surface.

In a recent issue of Physical Review Letters, the UK researchers describe how they developed a model of the superpositions that create the dark optical vortices, using numerical simulations and experiments.

In their experiments, they created laser speckle with a mm-diameter helium neon laser beam shining through a screen made of ground glass. By measuring the superpositions with an interferometer, the scientists could generate a 3D map of the structure of the optical vortices.

The light and dark side of

They found two types of vortices. When investigating the lines of darkness further, the researchers found that they exhibit scale invariance. In other words, the vortices look the same no matter how much you zoom out — they are fractals.

We are looking forward to exploring these properties in more detail. More specifically, we hope to investigate the topological side of random light fields, such as how often vortex lines are knotted or linked.

The model describes the configuration of cosmic strings in the early universe — the very thin but very dense one-dimensional defects in space-time that could be responsible for the formation of galaxies.

They suggest that these properties could be universal for all optical fields, and they plan to investigate the analogy further. Shared fundamental properties or restrictions like how lines can be embedded in 3D space result in universal exponents appearing in varied and apparently disconnected fields of research.

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The fact that vortex lines in light exhibit power laws suggesting universal properties means that these lines are governed by more general laws than wave equations. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.

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Film Noir was a cinematographic style of the s and 50s, characterized by high contrast black and white scenes, strong use of shadows, and a moody, romantic feel.

The visuals conveyed mystery in concert with dark hints of edginess and tension.

The light and dark side of

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Night lights have a dark side | Science News for Students