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Professor John Nye

Professor John Nye

Professor John Nye
M.A., Ph.D.(Cantab.), F.R.S.

Emeritus Professor in Physics

Area of research

Glaciology, optics and microwaves

Office Home
HH Wills Physics Laboratory,
Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 9733769



A new probe has been developed which allows the field pattern due to a transmitting antenna to be accurately measured very close to a conductor or a dielectric. It can be used, for example, to infer the far field of an antenna, or a passive scatterer, from measurements in the near field.


Wave fields contain interesting three-dimensional structure, which can often be best understood as based on the spatial arrangement of singularities (special loci). This approach is relevant on scales ranging from that of geometrical optics, where the singularities are caustics (classified by catastrophe theory), down to the scale of the wavelength itself, where the relevant singularities are those of the polarisation (J F Nye, Natural focusing and fine structure of light: caustics and wave dislocations Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol 1999).


Earlier work in terrestrial glaciology has led to an interest in the movement and composition of the polar ice caps of Mars.


  • Optics
  • Glaciology
  • Microwaves.

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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