The difficulty of measuring orbital angular momentum

D. Preece, T. A. Nieminen, T. Asavei, N. R. Heckenberg, H. Rubinsztein-Dunlop


Light can carry angular momentum as well as energy and momentum; the transfer of this angular momentum to an object results in an optical torque. The development of a rotational analogue to the force measurement capability of optical tweezers is hampered by the difficulty of optical measurement of orbital angular momentum. We present an experiment with encouraging results, but emphasise the difficulty of the task.


Optical torque; orbital angular momentum

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