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HP Science Lectures at HP Labs Bristol

Professor John Roy Sambles, FRS, F Inst P
Thin Film Photonics, School of Physics,
University of Exeter


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All of us who are fortunate enough to be able to read this will generally have two astonishing detectors for light. Indeed a large amount of input data to our brains comes through visual images. Light is key to our very existence. This demonstration lecture will cover a wide range of phenomena concerning light and colour.

The impact of technological aspects of light, the science of photonics, is ever growing. Lasers as light sources, optical fibres as communication channels and liquid crystals as the output interface to the human receiver (us) are now commonplace. This demonstration lecture will include many aspects of light including the essence of total internal reflection leading to optical waveguiding, the concept of linear polarisation, the ideas of colour birefringence, voltage controlled liquid crystal switching and others.


Roy Sambles, Professor of Experimental Physics at University of Exeter, has a long and distinguished career researching the interaction of light and materials. His group at Exeter have studied a wide range of systems including: liquid crystal devices; iridescent butterfly wings; and the propagation of light at surfaces, through thin layered systems and through gratings. These studies have applications in liquid crystal displays for TVs and computers, highly sensitive detection of materials (e.g. for medical diagnosis), and optical and microwave communication. His group has worked extensively with other academic and industrial groups across Europe. http://newton.ex.ac.uk/research/emag.html

Roy studied physics at Imperial College, gaining his BSc and PhD there, and has since published over 400 papers in international journals.  He was awarded the George Gray medal of the British Liquid Crystal Society in 1998, elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2002, and won the Young medal and prize of the Institute of Physics in 2003.


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