Abstract

We study the mechanism of optical angular momentum transfer from light to a dielectric medium on total internal reflection. We employ a quantized approach and, in particular, work with a single-photon pulse. This allows us to evaluate the force and torque per photon and also, crucially, to evaluate forces and torques conditioned on transmission or reflection at an interface. The reflected electric and magnetic fields of an incident paraxial beam carrying orbital and spin angular momentum are obtained using an angular spectrum method. We calculate the expectation value of the single-photon torque exerted on the dielectric, due to total internal reflection of a single-photon pulse, using the dipole-based Lorentz force density. We apply this result to describe the angular momentum transfer from light on passing through an M-shaped Dove prism.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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