Theoretical Optical Physics Group

    The Theoretical Optical Physics Group headed by Ewan M. Wright conducts research across a broad area including nonlinear optics, the physics of ultracold gases and the exploration of novel laser beams. Key theoretical contributions include the elucidation of the physics underlying light string propagation in media such as air, the early treatment of the field of nonlinear atom optics and the optical binding of nanoparticles.

    optical binding of two, three and four dielectric particles in a host liquid
    Simulation and experimental results for the optical binding of two, three and four dielectric particles immersed in a host liquid and illuminated by counter-propagating laser fields. The figures illustrate the field intensity that is detected via fluorescence from an additive to the liquid, and the dark spots reveal the particle positions. Optical binding relies on the fact that the spatial distribution of the particles modifies the light propagation, and the light in turn dictates the optical forces on the particles.