Abstract

An SU(2) basis for the recently proposed analog of the Poincaré sphere for light beams with orbital angular momentum is presented. The work of Padgett and Courtial [Opt. Lett. 24, 430 (1999)] is generalized in several directions, including quantized as well as partially coherent beams with orbital angular momentum. The SU(N) version of the present theory can be used for higher-order Laguerre–Gauss beams.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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