The angular momentum of light inside a dielectric

Padgett, M.J. , Barnett, S.M. and Loudon, R. (2003) The angular momentum of light inside a dielectric. Journal of Modern Optics, 50(10), 1555 -1562. (doi:10.1080/0950034031000064816)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0950034031000064816

Abstract

We consider whether or not a short pulse of light carrying angular momentum will exert a torque when propagating through a transparent disc. The approach is based on the 'Einstein-box' argument which we apply to discuss linear optical momentum in a medium. Two competing theories due to Minkowski and Abraham, at least superficially, suggest that the disc will not or will rotate. Our analysis suggests that the disc will rotate and that an experiment using optical tweezers should be able to detect the rotation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Padgett, Professor Miles
Authors: Padgett, M.J., Barnett, S.M., and Loudon, R.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Journal of Modern Optics
ISSN:0950-0340

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