On the Burgers vector of a wave dislocation

Mark R. Dennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Following Nye and Berry's analogy with crystal dislocations, an approach to the Burgers vector of a wave dislocation (phase singularity, optical vortex) is proposed. It is defined to be a regularized phase gradient evaluated at the phase singularity, and is computed explicitly. The screw component of this vector is naturally related to the helicoidal twisting of wavefronts along a vortex line, and is related to the helicity of the phase gradient. The edge component is related to the nearby current flow (defined by the phase gradient) perpendicular to the vortex, and the distribution of this component is found numerically for random two-dimensional monochromatic waves.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094002
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Optics A: Pure and Applied Optics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009


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