Prof. Sir Michael Berry - Superoscillations in waves: old, new, common, uncommon

  • 10 December 2021
  • 14.00-15.00
  • SCH.1.01 Schofield Building

Presented by Professor Sir Michael Berry (University of Bristol, Europe)

In the mathematical phenomenon of superoscillations, bandlimited functions vary faster than their fastest Fourer components (‘faster than they should’). Superoscillations
• are associated with almost-destructive interference;
• occur near phase singularities in optics and on the world’s ocean tides;
• are a compact way to represent fractals;
• are rather common in light represented by scalar waves, and in many contexts in quantum physics; but in light represented by electric fields - and more so when magnetic fields are included - they are unexpectedly rare;
• are suppressed by differentiation;
• can be generalised, to quantum waves whose momentum (wavenumber) lies outside the classical range; 
• in red light, can escape as gamma radiation.
The School of Science and the Department of Mathematical Sciences are delighted to welcome Professor Sir Michael Berry back to Loughborough University to present this talk. It will be the fourth time Sir Michael has delivered a prestigious lecture at Loughborough University, having previously given the Sir David Wallace lecture in 2015, the Sir Nevill Mott lecture back in 2006 and the Mathematical Sciences Christmas Lecture in 2018.
The department was also honoured to have Sir Michael join them for the planting of Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree, a cutting from Woolsthorpe Manor, on the grounds of Loughborough University

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