Vortex transmutation was predicted to take place when vortices interact with systems possessing discrete rotational symmetries of finite order [Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 123901 (2005)]. Here we report what is believed to be the first experimental demonstration of vortex transmutation. We show that in free space, by simply inserting polygonal lenses into the optical path, the central vorticity of a coaxially incident optical vortex can be changed following the modular transmutation rule. We generate the wavefront at the exit face of the lenses with computer generated holograms and measure the output vorticity using the interference patterns at the focal plane. The results agree well with theoretical predictions.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Diffraction and Gratings
Original Manuscript: May 29, 2012
Revised Manuscript: June 18, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: June 28, 2012
Published: July 30, 2012
Nan Gao and Changqing Xie, "Experimental demonstration of free-space optical vortex transmutation with polygonal lenses," Opt. Lett. 37, 3255-3257 (2012)