The Department of Physics colloquia includes internationally prominent guest speakers. They take place on Fridays during the semester and are open to anyone from the university, with students encouraged to attend.
Click here for the full list of physics colloquia in semester 2, 2022-2023, and details of past talks.
Dr Claire Cisowski
Dr Claire Cisowski, University of Glasgow
Optical skyrmions: novel topological fields of light
Abstract: Skyrmions are topologically protected field configurations that have been observed in condensed matter systems, chiral magnetic systems and nematic liquid crystals, and most recently in optics. Since their initial conception in 2018, optical skyrmions have attracted considerable attention due to their highly reconfigurable generation. Unlike their magnetic counterparts, optical skyrmions are free from energy constraints and therefore allow the investigation of topological stability in its purest form. In this talk, I will provide a definition of optical skyrmions based on rational maps, I will show how we generate such beams in the laboratory and I will demonstrate how we can characterize them using topological considerations.