Ter gelegenheid van de uitreiking van de Lorentzmedaille aan Sir Michael Berry organiseerde de KNAW een symposium over het werk van Berry onder de titel Fantastic Light.
Op het programma:
- Opening door Christine Mummery, Universiteit Leiden, bestuurslid KNAW
- Knots of Light door Dirk Bouwmeester, Universiteit Leiden en UC Santa Barbara
Maxwell’s equations and the resulting description of light triggered the development of the theory of relativity and of quantum mechanics. Understanding the properties of light is therefore of fundamental importance. Topologically nontrivial structures of light will be discussed in which all electric and magnetic field lines form closed loops that are linked to each other. Furthermore it will be shown how such linked and knotted structures can be transformed to knotted structures of gravitational waves and plasma.
- What Would You See Upon Falling in a Black Hole? door Erik Verlinde, Universiteit van Amsterdam
Light and Gravity. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Maxwell’s theory of light as well as the 100th anniversary of Einstein's theory of general relativity. One of the main predictions of general relativity is that gravity bends light. Near black holes this bending is so strong that light is being captured behind an event horizon. Recently the movie Interstellar appeared in cinema’s, in which one of the main characters decides to fall in to a black hole. In this presentation the science behind the question 'What do you see when you fall into a black hole?' will be explained and illustrated with the help of numerical simulations. Also in other places in our universe light is being influenced by gravity. The occurrence of gravitational lenses in one example. Observations of the bending of light by gravity teaches us a lot about the distribution of matter in our universe. We discuss the most important lessons that can be drawn from these observations.
- Enlightening the Opaque World door Ad Lagendijk, Universiteit Twente
All objects that we observe around us are untransparent. We cannot see transparent objects. Nevertheless up to recently physicists were mainly concerned with the transparent objects. A combination of new insight, new technology, and new multidisciplinary collaboration has led to a situation where we can look inside and see through opaque matter.
- Laudatio door Carlo Beenakker, Universiteit Leiden, voorzitter van de jury voor de Lorentzmedaille, en uitreiking van de Lorentzmedaille aan Sir Michael Berry
- Nature's Optics and Our Understanding of Light door Sir Michael Berry, University of Bristol
Optical phenomena visible to everyone have been central to the development of, and abundantly illustrate, important concepts in science and mathematics. The phenomena considered include rainbows, sparkling reflections on water, mirages, green flashes, earthlight on the moon, glories, daylight, crystals, and the squint moon. The concepts include refraction, caustics (focal singularities of ray optics), wave interference, numerical experiments, mathematical asymptotics, dispersion, complex angular momentum (Regge poles), polarization singularities, Hamilton’s conical intersections of eigenvalues (‘Dirac points’), geometric phases, and visual illusions.