An experiment was proposed to probe quantum effects on optical activity. The helical structures in optically active media act as natural microsolenoids for the electromagnetic waves passing through them, which produces a longitudinal magnetic field in the axis of helices. Magnetic flux through a helical crystal structure is quantized. A high number of quanta in the rotatory power was probed in the optical activity of α-quartz.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 18, 2007
Revised Manuscript: September 1, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: September 4, 2007
Published: October 4, 2007
C. Z. Tan and L. Chen, "Quantum effects in the optical activity of α-quartz," Opt. Lett. 32, 2936-2938 (2007)