Singular Optics

Gregory J. Gbur

November 9, 2016 by CRC Press
Reference - 545 Pages - 16 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781466580770 - CAT# K18851
Series: Series in Optics and Optoelectronics

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  • Offers the first comprehensive overview of the field, covering properties of wavefields, vortices, and other singularities, in addition to their applications in optical micromanipulation, optical communications, remote sensing, and other areas
  • Covers theoretical, experimental, and applied aspects
  • Introduces the concepts and practical use of singular optics at a level that will be accessible to graduate students
  • Discusses the full range of different singularities (vortices, polarization singularities, coherence singularities, etc.) and their interrelationships
  • Includes a chapter on unusual singularities and other topological tricks, such as knots, braids, linked vortices, cascades of singularities, and superoscillatory fields


"This engagingly written text provides a useful pedagogical introduction to an extensive class of geometrical phenomena in the optics of polarization and phase, including simple explanations of much of the underlying mathematics." —Michael Berry, University of Bristol, UK

"The author covers a vast number of topics in great detail, with a unifying mathematical treatment. It will be a useful reference for both beginners and experts…." —Enrique Galvez, Charles A. Dana Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Colgate University

"a firm and comprehensive grounding both for those looking to acquaint themselves with the field and those of us that need reminding of the things we thought we knew, but hitherto did not understand: an essential point of reference." —Miles Padgett, Kelvin Chair of Natural Philosophy and Vice Principal (Research), University of Glasgow

This book focuses on the various forms of wavefield singularities, including optical vortices and polarization singularities, as well as orbital angular momentum and associated applications. It highlights how an understanding of singular optics provides a completely different way to look at light. Whereas traditional optics focuses on the shape and structure of the non-zero portions of the wavefield, singular optics describes a wave’s properties from its null regions. The contents cover the three main areas of the field: the study of generic features of wavefields, determination of unusual properties of vortices and wavefields that contain singularities, and practical applications of vortices and other singularities.