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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 37, Iss. 15 — Aug. 1, 2012
  • pp: 3009–3011

Measures of chirality and angular momentum in the electromagnetic field

David L. Andrews and Matt M. Coles  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 37, Issue 15, pp. 3009-3011 (2012)

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It is shown that prominent measures of the helicity of chiral electromagnetic radiation have a common basis, in differences between the populations of optical modes associated with angular momenta of opposite sign. The analysis helps to develop the interpretation of chiroptical phenomena in which such metrics have been treated as representing physically distinct “superchiral” phenomena. Constructing theory with due cognizance of photonic character, it emerges only that the spin angular momentum of light is engaged in such observations. In consequence, the term “superchiral” is redundant.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(020.5580) Atomic and molecular physics : Quantum electrodynamics
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence
(270.5580) Quantum optics : Quantum electrodynamics
(080.4865) Geometric optics : Optical vortices

ToC Category:
Atomic and Molecular Physics

Original Manuscript: March 22, 2012
Revised Manuscript: May 28, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: June 1, 2012
Published: July 16, 2012

David L. Andrews and Matt M. Coles, "Measures of chirality and angular momentum in the electromagnetic field," Opt. Lett. 37, 3009-3011 (2012)

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