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Title: Spin and orbital angular momenta of light reflected from a cone

Abstract

We examine several retro-reflecting optical elements, each involving two reflections. In the case of a hollow metallic cone having an apex angle of 90 deg., a circularly polarized incident beam acquires, upon reflection, the opposite spin angular momentum. However, no angular momentum is transferred to the cone, because the reflected beam picks up an orbital angular momentum that is twice as large but opposite in direction to that of its spin. A 90 deg. cone made of a transparent material in which the incident light suffers two total internal reflections before returning may be designed to endow the retro-reflected beam with different mixtures of orbital and spin angular momenta. Under no circumstances, however, is it possible to transfer angular momentum from the light beam to the cone without either allowing absorption or breaking the axial symmetry of the cone. A simple example of broken symmetry is provided by a wedge-shaped metallic reflector having an apex angle of 90 deg., which picks up angular momentum upon reflecting a circularly polarized incident beam.

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721 (United States)
  2. Corning Incorporated, Science and Technology Division, Corning, New York 14831 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22072179
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Physical Review. A
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 84; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: (c) 2011 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 1050-2947
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; 74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; ANGULAR MOMENTUM TRANSFER; AXIAL SYMMETRY; CONES; ORBITAL ANGULAR MOMENTUM; POLARIZED BEAMS; REFLECTION; SPIN; SYMMETRY BREAKING

Citation Formats

Mansuripur, Masud, Wright, Ewan M., and Zakharian, Armis R. Spin and orbital angular momenta of light reflected from a cone. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVA.84.033813.
Mansuripur, Masud, Wright, Ewan M., & Zakharian, Armis R. Spin and orbital angular momenta of light reflected from a cone. United States. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVA.84.033813.
Mansuripur, Masud, Wright, Ewan M., and Zakharian, Armis R. Thu . "Spin and orbital angular momenta of light reflected from a cone". United States. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVA.84.033813.
@article{osti_22072179,
title = {Spin and orbital angular momenta of light reflected from a cone},
author = {Mansuripur, Masud and Wright, Ewan M. and Zakharian, Armis R.},
abstractNote = {We examine several retro-reflecting optical elements, each involving two reflections. In the case of a hollow metallic cone having an apex angle of 90 deg., a circularly polarized incident beam acquires, upon reflection, the opposite spin angular momentum. However, no angular momentum is transferred to the cone, because the reflected beam picks up an orbital angular momentum that is twice as large but opposite in direction to that of its spin. A 90 deg. cone made of a transparent material in which the incident light suffers two total internal reflections before returning may be designed to endow the retro-reflected beam with different mixtures of orbital and spin angular momenta. Under no circumstances, however, is it possible to transfer angular momentum from the light beam to the cone without either allowing absorption or breaking the axial symmetry of the cone. A simple example of broken symmetry is provided by a wedge-shaped metallic reflector having an apex angle of 90 deg., which picks up angular momentum upon reflecting a circularly polarized incident beam.},
doi = {10.1103/PHYSREVA.84.033813},
journal = {Physical Review. A},
issn = {1050-2947},
number = 3,
volume = 84,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {9}
}