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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 38, Iss. 6 — Mar. 15, 2013
  • pp: 869–871

Photonic measures of helicity: optical vortices and circularly polarized reflection

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

Optics Letters, Vol. 38, Issue 6, pp. 869-871 (2013)

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For both paraxial and nonparaxial light, numerous electromagnetic quantities are expressible in terms of photon annihilation and creation operators. Accordingly, measures of energy, angular momentum, and chirality acquire a consistent interpretation. From the photonic nature of light, it emerges that an infinite hierarchy of spin-type measures depend on a difference in number operators for modes of opposing helicity, with pure circular polarization giving maximal values. Measures of orbital angular momentum are determined by a sum of corresponding number operators. Analysis of the electric and magnetic fields in the reflection of circular polarizations reveals regions of prominent chiral interference.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(230.4040) Optical devices : Mirrors
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(270.0270) Quantum optics : Quantum optics
(270.5580) Quantum optics : Quantum electrodynamics
(080.4865) Geometric optics : Optical vortices

ToC Category:
Quantum Optics

Original Manuscript: January 7, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: January 24, 2013
Published: March 12, 2013

Matt M. Coles and David L. Andrews, "Photonic measures of helicity: optical vortices and circularly polarized reflection," Opt. Lett. 38, 869-871 (2013)

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