Dr Angela Louise Dudley

CSIR senior researcher and programme manager of the CSIR-hosted Photonics Prototyping Facility

Dudley’s research focuses on developing measurement techniques for optical fields, in terms of intensity, phase and orbital angular momentum (OAM) content. Optical fields which carry OAM have found applications ranging from optical tweezing to quantum cryptography.

Full Profile

Dudley’s research focuses on experimentally generating superpositions of optical fields which each carry orbital angular momentum (OAM) and the development of OAM measurement techniques. Optical fields which carry OAM have found applications ranging from optical tweezing to quantum cryptography. Because OAM offers an infinite-dimensional state space, efficient measurement techniques are needed in order for higher-dimensional quantum information processing to be realised. Her contributions to measuring the OAM in optical fields have involved a stable Dove-prism embedded Mach-Zehnder interferometer, which is capable of sorting 41 OAM states into odd and even ports with a contrast ranging from 92% to 61%. Previously this was not possible to achieve in the laboratory. She also constructed a variant of this interferometer to mimic an amplitude damping channel for OAM states, thereby demonstrating basic quantum mechanics in the laboratory using the OAM states of photons.

In seminal work on non-diffracting OAM-carrying beams, Dudley developed a new technique for the generation of superimposed Bessel beams through the use of a single digital hologram. This work proved that arbitrarily fine control over the rotation rates of the intensity profile can be achieved, thus making these ‘spinning’ optical fields an ideal tool for the controlled rotation of trapped particles. One of her publications concerning this work appeared in the top ten downloads for The Journal of the Optical Society of America for April 2012.

During her PhD and postdoctoral research, Dudley spent time in laboratories in Belarus, Scotland, the USA and Germany. Her research has also allowed her to supervise undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Dudley has received numerous grants and awards for her work.

Expertise: Laser science; Digital holography; Quantum mechanics

Academic qualifications: 
  • BSc (Computational Physics), University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2004
  • BSc (Honours) (Physics), University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2005
  • MSc (Physics), University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2008
  • PhD (Physics), University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2012

Contact Person

Dr Angela Louise Dudley