Abstract

Circularly polarized light exerts torque on birefringent objects. In the case of axially symmetric particles, however, the moment of radiation force balances the direct optical torque. This explains the observation that radial liquid-crystal droplets, in contrast to planar droplets, do not spin in circularly polarized light. The conclusion is in agreement with considerations based on the angular momentum conservation of light [Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 163905 (2006) ].

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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