Optical angular momentum and atoms

Franke-Arnold, S. (2017) Optical angular momentum and atoms. Royal Society of London Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 375(2087), 20150435. (doi:10.1098/rsta.2015.0435) (PMID:28069766)

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Abstract

Any coherent interaction of light and atoms needs to conserve energy, linear momentum and angular momentum. What happens to an atom’s angular momentum if it encounters light that carries orbital angular momentum (OAM)? This is a particularly intriguing question as the angular momentum of atoms is quantized, incorporating the intrinsic spin angular momentum of the individual electrons as well as the OAM associated with their spatial distribution. In addition, a mechanical angular momentum can arise from the rotation of the entire atom, which for very cold atoms is also quantized. Atoms therefore allow us to probe and access the quantum properties of light’s OAM, aiding our fundamental understanding of light–matter interactions, and moreover, allowing us to construct OAM-based applications, including quantum memories, frequency converters for shaped light and OAM-based sensors.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Franke-Arnold, Dr Sonja
Authors: Franke-Arnold, S.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Research Group:Optics
Journal Name:Royal Society of London Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:1364-503X
ISSN (Online):1471-2962
Published Online:09 January 2017

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
637131Quantum memory and processing of orbital angular momentum information in atomic gassesSonja Franke-ArnoldLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHULME)RPG-2013-386S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY