Phase singularities are dislocations widely studied in optical fields as well as in other areas of physics. With experiment and theory we show that the vectorial nature of light affects the spatial distribution of phase singularities in random light fields. While in scalar random waves phase singularities exhibit spatial distributions reminiscent of particles in isotropic liquids, in vector fields their distribution for the different vector components becomes anisotropic due to the direct relation between propagation and field direction. By incorporating this relation in the theory for scalar fields by Berry and Dennis [Proc. R. Soc. A 456, 2059 (2000)], we quantitatively describe our experiments.

Phys. Rev. Lett.

De Angelis, L, Alpeggiani, F, Di Falco, A, & Kuipers, L.K. (2016). Spatial distribution of phase singularities in optical random vector waves. Phys.Rev.Lett., 117(Article number: 093901), 1–5. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.093901