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Optical angular momentum in dispersive media

Philbin, T. G. and Allanson, O. (2012) Optical angular momentum in dispersive media. Physical Review A, 86 (5). 055802. ISSN 1050-2947

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.86.055802


The angular momentum density and flux of light in a dispersive, rotationally symmetric medium are derived from Noether's theorem. Optical angular momentum in a dispersive medium has no simple relation to optical linear momentum, even if the medium is homogeneous. A circularly polarized monochromatic beam in a homogeneous, dispersive medium carries a spin angular momentum of ±ℏ per energy ℏω, as in vacuum. This result demonstrates the nontrivial interplay of dispersive contributions to optical angular momentum and energy.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:71987
Publisher:American Physical Society


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