Mathematical Optics at the National Laser Centre - Andrew Forbes and Stef Roux

Our everyday experience of light is with the intensity of the field - how bright it is, or how much energy it carries - yet control and understanding of the phase of light opens doors to endless possibilities for new science in both the classical and quantum worlds. In this talk we will outline some research activities within the Mathematical Optics group at the South African National Laser Centre, and show how light may be tailored through phase into exhibiting interesting properties for various applications. In particular we will highlight the impact of optical vortices on the properties of strongly scintillated optical beams, and show how an understanding of the statistical behaviour of vortex fields may aid in the removal of such vortices.