Twisting light: creating an optical vortex

Sometimes ideas for research projects can come from unusual places. For me, this project started when I signed up to the ACT Science Mentors program to mentor a high school student through a research project. The student I was partnered with was very interested in quantum mechanics, and had already measured the Boltzmann constant in … Continue reading Twisting light: creating an optical vortex

Fast steering optical phased array: how to trick a control system

Optical phased arrays are a way to construct a really powerful laser beam, and steer it precisely without mirrors or lenses. Making an optical phased array that can steer millions of times per second would be a huge boon to systems like LIDAR for autonomous cars. But to make something move that fast, you need … Continue reading Fast steering optical phased array: how to trick a control system