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Direct measurement of the skew angle of the Poynting vector in a helically phased beam

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Optical Society of America
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  • Physics

Abstract

Enlighten – Research publications by members of the University of Glasgow http://eprints.gla.ac.uk Leach, J., Keen, S., Padgett, M.J. , Saunter, C., and Love, G.D. (2006) Direct measurement of the skew angle of the Poynting vector in a helically phased beam. Optics Express, 14 . pp. 11919-11924. ISSN 1094-4087 http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/29106/ Deposited on: 18th July 2012 Direct measurement of the skew angle of the Poynting vector in a helically phased beam Jonathan Leach, Stephen Keen and Miles J. Padgett SUPA, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Kelvin Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, Scotland [email protected] Christopher Saunter and Gordon D. Love Department of Physics, Rochester Building, Durham University, Durham, DH1 3LE , England [email protected] Abstract: We measure the local skew angle of the Poynting vector within a helically-phased, exp ilφ( ), beam using a Shack Hartmann wavefront sensor. It is the skew angle of the Poynting vector with respect to the beam axis that gives rise to the orbital angular momentum of a light beam. We confirm that this skew angle is l kr , corresponding to an orbital angular momentum of l� per photon. Measurement of orbital angular momentum in this way is an alternative to interferometric techniques giving a non-ambiguous result to both the magnitude and sign of l from a single measurement, without any restriction on the optical bandwidth. ©2006 Optical Society of America OCIS codes: (010.7350) Wave-front sensing, (230.6120) Spatial light modulators, (350.5500) Propagation, (999.9999) Optical vortices References and links 1. L. Allen, M. J. Padgett and M. Babiker, “The orbital angular momentum of light,” Progress in Optics 39, 291-372 (1999), M. Padgett, J. Courtial, and L. Allen, “Light's Orbital Angular Momentum,” Physics Today, 57, 35-40 (2004). 2. M. Harris, C. A. Hill and J. M. Vaughan, “Optical helices and spir

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