Optics and Electrodynamics

Throughout my career as a physicist I have investigated virtually all facets of the behaviour of light, both classical and quantum, including reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference, polarisation, and scattering. Among my experimental and theoretical studies of classical optics are:

  • General theory and experimental confirmation of the phenomenon of light amplification by enhanced internal reflection. Once a controversial effect whose existence was contested, enhanced internal reflection was conclusively demonstrated by light reflection from a laser-pumped solution of rhodamine dye with results in close agreement with the corresponding theoretical model. Since then, enhanced reflection has been used to make fibre optic communication systems practicable.
  • Optical methods for enhancing and detecting weak naturally occurring molecular optical activity, including the successful observation of the difference with which a naturally optically active medium reflects left and right circularly polarised light. This experiment, which opened the door to novel methods of investigating chiral media by reflection, complemented Fresnel's 19th century signal achievement of separating left and right circularly polarised light beams by refraction from naturally optically active quartz.
  • Polarimetric imaging method for seeing through optically dense turbid media and delineating the surface features of hidden embedded objects. The method employs optical phase modulation and synchronous detection to select photons that have been scattered fewer times than average and which retain their state of polarisation and imaging information.
  • Polarimetric method for measuring optical activity of chiral solutes in optically dense turbid media. The same procedure for polarimetric imaging can be used in a modified configuration to detect with high sensitivity manifestations of optical activity in forward, lateral, and back scattered light, thereby making possible the measurement of chiral materials in unusual media.
  • Experimental demonstration of lensless projective imaging of periodic structure. The procedure allows one to image selectively patterns of well-defined symmetry in a composite object of multiple symmetries and noise. Such a method may provide an alternative and more rapid way to determine lattice symmetries by means of X-ray and particle diffraction.