Abstract

The phase of a light beam can be twisted as a corkscrew around its axis of propagation. Such fields have drawn much attention, in particular since it was realized that a twisted light beam carries orbital angular momentum (OAM), namely lħ per photon, where the integer l is the azimuthal mode index of the beam. This has led to the first major OAM application: mechanical rotation due to transfer of OAM from light to matter, where the material object can vary from a Bose-Einstein condensate to a living cell.

© 2009 IEEE

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