Welcome to 4th year students Emma Kirby and Finlay Scott who are undertaking research projects within the FOAM group this year.

Rob’s latest documentary published: Molecular Chirality: A Scientific Documentary

New paper from the group:

G. Henderson, G. R. M. Robb, G.-L. Oppo, and A. M. Yao, “Control of Light-Atom Solitons and Atomic Transport by Optical Vortex Beams Propagating through a Bose-Einstein Condensate”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 129, 073902 (2022).

We were delighted to attend the 6th International Conference on Optical Angular Momentum (ICOAM22), held on the 12th-17th June 2022 at Tampere University in Finland. Several members of the FOAM group participated:

    • Alison: “Structuring light for controlled propagation of optical and atomic solitons” (talk)
    • Rob: “How to knot microwaves” (talk)
    • Grant: “Propagation of coupled atom-light solitons carrying angular momentum in a Bose-Einstein Condensate” (poster)

New paper by Alison and collaborators:

G. Baio, T. Ackemann, G.-L. Oppo, G. R. M. Robb, and A. M. Yao, “Rotating and spiraling spatial dissipative solitons of light and cold atoms”, Phys. Rev. A 105, 023318, 2022.

New paper by Rob:

R. P. CameronConstraints for electric charge from Maxwell’s equations and boundary conditions”  Phys. Scr. 97 035502 (2022).

New paper by Alison and collaborators:

G. Baio, G. R. M. Robb, A. M. Yao, G.-L. Oppo, and T. Ackemann, “Multiple Self-Organized Phases and Spatial Solitons in Cold Atoms Mediated by Optical Feedback”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 203201, 2021.

New paper by Rob and collaborators:

R. P. CameronW. Löffler and K. D. StephanTheoretical proposal for the experimental realisation of a monochromatic electromagnetic knot J. Opt. 23 064006 (2021).

A research paper by Rob has made the front cover of Royal Society Open Science.

Mr Emmanounil Alexakis has begun a four-year PhD project on the theory and experimental demonstration of Rayleigh optical activity, supported by the Royal Society and ESPRC.

New paper by Rob and collaborators:

R. P. Cameron, U. Vogl and N. Trautmann “Interference-contrast optical activity: a new technique for probing the chirality of anisotropic samples and moreR. Soc.Open Sci. 7 192201 (2020).

Huge congratulations to FOAM member Rob Cameron who has been awarded a prestigious 5 year Royal Society University Research Fellowship to investigate molecular chirality.

Welcome to 3rd year student Emmanouil Alexakis who was awarded an EPSRC Vacation Bursary to work in the FOAM group over summer.

We had a great time at ICOAM19 presenting our invited talks on “Novel ‘standing waves’ and their applications” and “Control of Spatially Rotating Solutions in a Kerr Cavity” and our poster on “Designing fully-structured light for chiroptical interactions”.

Congratulations to FOAM member Christopher Gibson who successfully defended his thesis in May with external examiner Assoc. Prof. Fabio Biancalana and internal examiner Dr. Aidan Arnold.

Documentary “Jeremy the Lefty Snail and Other Asymmetrical Animals” now online.

Seven new papers from Rob and collaborators as part of a research project grant funded by The Leverhulme Trust:

V. Marichez, A. Tassoni, R. P. Cameron, S. M. Barnett, R. Eichorn, C. Genet and T. M. Hermans “Mechanical chiral resolution” Soft Matter 15 4593 (2019).


J. P. Cotter and R. P. Cameron “Multi-path interferometry using single photons J. Phys. Commun. 3 045102 (2019).


R. P. Cameron “Using a black hole to weigh light: can the Event Horizon Telescope yield new information about the photon rest mass?Res. Notes AAS 3 34 (2019) – MADE TOP 10 MOST READ LIST.


K. C. van Kruining, R. P. Cameron and J. B. Goette “Superpositions of up to six plane waves without electric-field interferenceOptica 5 1091 (2018).


R. P. Cameron and N. MacKinnon, “Linear Rayleigh and Raman scattering to second order: analytical results for light scattering by any scatterer of size $k_0d\lesssim1/10$“, Phys. Rev. A 98 013814 (2018).


R. P. Cameron and J. P. Cotter, “Relativistic properties of a molecule: energy, linear momentum, angular momentum and boost momentum to order $1/c^2$“, J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 51 105101 (2018).


R. P. Cameron and J. P. Cotter, “Hidden momentum of electrons, nuclei, atoms and molecules“, Phys. Rev. A, 97 042125 (2018).

An image from our Phys. Rev. A paper was chosen as a kaleidoscope:

Our first publication as part of a research project grant funded by The Leverhulme Trust: 

C. J. Gibson, P. Bevington, G.-L. Oppo and A. M. Yao, “Control of polarization rotation in nonlinear propagation of fully structured light“, Phys. Rev. A, 97, 033832 (2018).