Airy theory, but true | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


News

Airy theory, but true

By
12:35pm, December 16, 2007

For decades, physicists have known that quantum theory allows for wavelike objects to follow curved trajectories known as Airy functions, after the 19th-century British astronomer George Biddell Airy. Scientists have now managed to bend a beam of light into just such a shape.

Demetri Christodoulides, Aristide Dogariu, and their colleagues at the University of Central Florida in Orlando passed an ordinary, but thick, laser beam through a liquid-crystal screen. The incoming light waves were oscillating in sync, but the orientations of the liquid crystals knocked them out of sync in a predetermined way. So the waves emerging on the other side formed interference patter

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content