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October 2021: "The exquisite sensitivity of polarisation" with presenter Michael Berry
Monthly speakers explore topics derived from Henri Poincaré’s work on optical polarization and demonstrate applications of polarization techniques. This month's title is "The exquisite sensitivity of polarisation" with presenter Michael Berry.

Join the series’ chairs and moderators – Thomas A. Germer, National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA); Jessica C. Ramella-Roman, Florida International University (USA); and Tatiana Novikova, École Polytechnique (France) – and be part of the discussion.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021, 6:00 am PT (1300 UTC): Acoustic Orbital Angular Momentum
Speaker: Michael Berry
University of Bristol

Abstract: Intuition suggests that the polarisation of light propagating in a crystal that is slowly twisted will follow the instantaneous eigenpolarisations adiabatically. But if the crystal has gain or loss, the evolutions depart dramatically from adiabatic, and display extraordinary sensitivity to the initial polarisation state, illustrated by wildly flailing tracks on the Poincaré sphere. Underlying these dramatic violations of intuition are the disparity of exponentials and the Stokes phenomenon of asymptotics, organised by nonhermitian degeneracies.

Oct 26, 2021 06:00 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Michael Berry
Tuesday, 26 October 2021, 6:00 am PT (1300 UTC): The exquisite sensitivity of polarisation @University of Bristol
Sir Michael Berry is a theoretical physicist at the University of Bristol, where he has been for more than twice as long as he has not. His research centres on the relations between physical theories at different levels of description (classical and quantum physics, ray optics and wave optics…). In addition to these deeply mathematical, often geometric, studies, he also delights in finding familiar phenomena illustrating deep concepts – the arcane in the mundane: rainbows, the sparkling of the sun on the sea, twinkling starlight, polarised light in the sky, tidal bores, etc.