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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Xi-Cheng Zhang
  • Vol. 39, Iss. 10 — May. 15, 2014
  • pp: 2944–2946

Optical angular momentum in a rotating frame

Fiona C. Speirits, Martin P. J. Lavery, Miles J. Padgett, and Stephen M. Barnett  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 39, Issue 10, pp. 2944-2946 (2014)

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It is well established that light carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM) can be used to induce a mechanical torque causing an object to spin. We consider the complementary scenario: will an observer spinning relative to the beam axis measure a change in OAM as a result of their rotational velocity? Remarkably, although a linear Doppler shift changes the linear momentum of a photon, the angular Doppler shift induces no change in the angular momentum. Further, we examine the rotational Doppler shift in frequency imparted to the incident light due to the relative motion of the beam with respect to the observer and consider what must happen to the measured wavelength if the speed of light c is to remain constant. We show specifically that the OAM of the incident beam is not affected by the rotating observer and that the measured wavelength is shifted by a factor equal and opposite to that of the frequency shift induced by the rotational Doppler effect.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(070.2580) Fourier optics and signal processing : Paraxial wave optics
(080.4865) Geometric optics : Optical vortices

ToC Category:
Diffraction and Gratings

Original Manuscript: February 5, 2014
Revised Manuscript: March 26, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: March 26, 2014
Published: May 9, 2014

Fiona C. Speirits, Martin P. J. Lavery, Miles J. Padgett, and Stephen M. Barnett, "Optical angular momentum in a rotating frame," Opt. Lett. 39, 2944-2946 (2014)

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