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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I am a member of the Computational Nonlinear and Quantum Optics (CNQO) group within the Optics division of the Department of Physics. I received my BSc (Hons) from Heriot-Watt University and my PhD from University of Strathclyde. I have been a lecturer in the Department of Physics since 2013. 

Research Interests

My research is based upon the generation and applications of structured light, in particular light carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM). It ranges from understanding the fundamental properties of this light to investigating its behaviour in various nonlinear systems, including demonstrating for the first time the mechanism behind optical rogue waves, to potential applications in quantum communication, ocean optics, nonlinear beam propagation and interaction with chiral molecules. 

Teaching Interests

I am the 1st year Adviser of Studies for Physics.

I currently teach 1st year mechanics and electromagnetism in PH183: Mechanics & Waves and PH184: Electromagnetism & Quantum Physics, and optical angular momentum as part of PH562 Adv. Topics in Quantum Optics.


  • Quantum optics
  • Orbital angular momentum

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Alison Yao is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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angular momentum Physics & Astronomy
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Projects 2006 2022

Research Output 2005 2020

1 Downloads (Pure)

Scattering of light with angular momentum from an array of particles

McArthur, D., Yao, A. M. & Papoff, F., 30 Jan 2020, In : Physical Review Research. 2, 1, 14 p., 013100.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
angular momentum
sea water
Mie scattering
1 Downloads (Pure)

Control of spatially rotating structures in diffractive Kerr cavities

Yao, A. M., Gibson, C. J. & Oppo, G-L., 28 Oct 2019, In : Optics Express. 27, 22, p. 31273-31289 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
angular velocity
angular momentum


Quantum optical state comparison amplification

Author: Eleftheriadou, E., 1 Apr 2015

Supervisor: Jeffers, J. (Supervisor) & Yao, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Activities 2014 2019

  • 8 Invited talk
  • 3 Organiser of major conference

5th International Conference on Optical Angular Momentum (ICOAM19), Ottawa , June 2019

Alison Yao (Invited speaker)
17 Jun 201921 Jun 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

SPIE Photonics West 2018: OPTO

Alison Yao (Invited speaker)
1 Feb 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk