Dr Alison Yao

Senior Lecturer


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. 


Chirality and the angular momentum of light
Cameron Robert P., Goette Jörg B., Barnett Stephen M., Yao Alison M.
Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences Vol 375, (2017)
Polarization shaping for control of nonlinear propagation
Bouchard Frederic, Larocque Hugo, Yao Alison M., Travis Christopher, De Leon Israel, Rubano Andrea, Karimi Ebrahim, Oppo Gian-Luca, Boyd Robert W.
Phys. Rev. Lett. Vol 117, (2016)
On the natures of the spin and orbital parts of optical angular momentum
Barnett Stephen M, Allen L, Cameron Robert P, Gilson Claire R, Padgett Miles J, Speirits Fiona C, Yao Alison M
Journal of Optics Vol 18, (2016)
Optical rogue waves in vortex turbulence
Gibson Christopher, Yao Alison, Oppo Gian-Luca
Phys. Rev. Lett. Vol 116, (2016)
Entropic uncertainty minimum for angle and angular momentum
Yao Alison, Brougham Thomas, Eleftheriadou Electra, Padgett Miles J., Barnett Steve
Journal of Optics Vol 16, (2014)
Self-focusing of optical beams below the diffraction limit
Travis C., McConnell G., Tragardh J., Yao A., Oppo G. L.
Bragg Gratings, Photosensitivity, and Poling in Glass Waveguides, BGPP 2014, (2014)

more publications


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

I currently teach the electromagnetism part of the 3rd year course PH352: Quantum Physics and Electromagnetism. I also help tutor for the 1st year courses PH151: Mechanics, Waves and Optics and PH152: Quantum Physics and Electromagnetism.

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. 


Control and Applications of Structured Light and Chiral Molecules
Yao, Alison (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Jun-2017 - 31-May-2020
ORANGUTRAN - ORbital ANGUlar momentum TRANsmissometer with zero collection angle error
McKee, David (Principal Investigator) Griffin, Paul (Co-investigator) Yao, Alison (Co-investigator)
Period 30-Jun-2016 - 29-Jun-2017
Collective effects and optomechanics in ultra-cold matter (ColOpt) (H2020 MCSA ETN)
Ackemann, Thorsten (Principal Investigator) Griffin, Paul (Co-investigator) Oppo, Gian-Luca (Co-investigator) Robb, Gordon (Co-investigator) Yao, Alison (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jan-2017 - 31-Dec-2020
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTA - University of Strathclyde) | Gibson, Christopher
Yao, Alison (Principal Investigator) Oppo, Gian-Luca (Co-investigator) Gibson, Christopher (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2014 - 01-Apr-2018
Jeffers, John (Principal Investigator) Yao, Alison (Co-investigator) Eleftheriadou, Electra (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2011 - 14-Apr-2015
UK Quantum Technology Hub in Quantum Enhanced Imaging (Quantic)
Dawson, Martin (Principal Investigator) Gu, Erdan (Co-investigator) Strain, Michael (Co-investigator) Watson, Ian (Co-investigator) Jeffers, John (Researcher) Oppo, Gian-Luca (Researcher) Yao, Alison (Researcher)
Period 01-Oct-2014 - 30-Sep-2019

more projects