Abstract

In this work we derive expressions for the orbital angular momentum (OAM) density of light, for both symmetric and nonsymmetric optical fields, that allow a direct comparison between theory and experiment. We present a simple method for measuring the OAM density in optical fields and test the approach on superimposed nondiffracting higher-order Bessel beams. The measurement technique makes use of a single spatial light modulator and a Fourier transforming lens to measure the OAM spectrum of the optical field. Quantitative values for the OAM density as a function of the radial position in the optical field are obtained for both symmetric and nonsymmetric superpositions, illustrating good agreement with the theoretical prediction.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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