Abstract

Vortex transmutation was predicted to take place when vortices interact with systems possessing discrete rotational symmetries of finite order [Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 123901 (2005)]. Here we report what is believed to be the first experimental demonstration of vortex transmutation. We show that in free space, by simply inserting polygonal lenses into the optical path, the central vorticity of a coaxially incident optical vortex can be changed following the modular transmutation rule. We generate the wavefront at the exit face of the lenses with computer generated holograms and measure the output vorticity using the interference patterns at the focal plane. The results agree well with theoretical predictions.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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