Optical physics

Definition

Optical physics is the study of the fundamental properties of light and its interaction with matter. This includes classical optical phenomena such as reflection, refraction, diffraction and interference, and also studying the quantum mechanical properties of individual packets of lights known as photons.

Featured

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Diffraction-free light-sheet beams, strongly confined in one axis, are typically thought to self-bend during propagation in free space and cannot be made flat. Now, diffraction-free planar light sheets in air have been realized by exploiting polychromatic pulsed beams.

    • Juan José Sáenz
    Nature Photonics 11, 686–688
  • News and Views |

    The demonstration of strong coupling between two nuclear polariton modes in the X-ray spectral region using two coupled cavities each containing a thin layer of iron brings new opportunities for exploring quantum science.

    • Elena Kuznetsova
    •  & Olga Kocharovskaya
    Nature Photonics 11, 685–686
  • Comments and Opinion |

    The creation of a global quantum network is now a realistic proposition thanks to developments in satellite and fibre links and quantum memory. Applications will range from secure communication and fundamental physics experiments to a future quantum internet.

    • Christoph Simon
    Nature Photonics 11, 678–680
  • Comments and Opinion |

    The two-way symmetry of electromagnetic wave propagation can be broken effectively in optomechanical systems, enabling new devices that route photons in unconventional ways.

    • Ewold Verhagen
    •  & Andrea Alù
    Nature Physics 13, 922–924
  • News and Views |

    Simultaneous trapping, alignment and anti-Stokes fluorescence cooling of Yb3+:YLF nanocrystals from room temperature to temperatures as low as about 130 K can now be realized using a single-beam optical dipole trap within a low-pressure environment.

    • Andrew Geraci
    Nature Photonics 11, 613–614