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Fellows Directory

Miles Padgett

Professor Miles Padgett FRS


Elected: 2014


Miles Padgett is well known for his leading research into the behaviour and properties of light, having successfully translated its fundamental properties into tools for delicately manipulating microscopic objects. Key to Miles’s research is the ability of light to push and rotate tiny particles — a result of its linear and angular momentum.

His contributions to optics include the development of optical spanners and tweezers that are capable of moving individual animal and bacterial cells. His tweezers — now incorporated into a commercially available system — employ a hologram to split a laser into multiple beams, providing researchers with precise control over the movement of particles.

Miles’s other work extends the application of angular momentum to encoding extra information within communications transmitted by beams of light. He has received many awards for his work, including the 2015 Prize for Research into the Science of Light from the European Physical Society, which recognises scientific excellence in the area of electromagnetic science.