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
Original Manuscript: May 12, 2008
Revised Manuscript: July 21, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: August 25, 2008
Published: October 14, 2008
István Jánossy, "Electromagnetic torque and force in axially symmetric liquid-crystal droplets," Opt. Lett. 33, 2371-2373 (2008)