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11 August 2008 Singular optical phenomena in nature
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Optical singularities serve as scientific landmarks in the topological landscape of light patterns. These curious features exhibit conservation properties and unique diffraction patterns that are finding increasing importance in many branches of modern optics. Caustics are singularities in ray optics that are markedly different from those in wave optics owing to the inclusion of phase and polarization in the latter case. Optical vortices and polarization singularities are examples of singular patterns in electromagnetic fields. There is some evidence that single photons can also exhibit singular attributes. This talk will describe examples of both naturally occurring and man-made optical singularities, how they may be put to use, and future directions in this field.
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Grover A. Swartzlander Jr. and Greg Gbur "Singular optical phenomena in nature", Proc. SPIE 7057, The Nature of Light: Light in Nature II, 705703 (11 August 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.800666;

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