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An Experiment To Observe The Intensity And Phase Structure Of Laguerre-Gaussian Laser Modes

Padgett, M, Arlt, J, Simpson, N, and Allen, L (1996) An Experiment To Observe The Intensity And Phase Structure Of Laguerre-Gaussian Laser Modes. American Journal of Physics, 64 (1). pp. 77-82. ISSN 0002-9505

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Abstract

We outline an easily reproduced experiment that allows the student to investigate the intensity and phase structure of transverse laser modes. In addition to discussing the usual Hermite-Gaussian laser modes we detail how Laguerre-Gaussian laser modes can be obtained by the direct conversion of the Hermite-Gaussian output. A Mach-Zehnder interferometer allows the phase structure of the Laguerre-Gaussian modes to be compared with the phase structure of a plane wave with the same frequency. The resulting interference patterns clearly illustrate the azimuthal phase dependence of the Laguerre-Gaussian modes, which is the origin of the orbital angular momentum associated with each of them.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s):Padgett, Prof Miles
Authors: Padgett, M, Arlt, J, Simpson, N, and Allen, L
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:American Journal of Physics
Journal Abbr.:Am. J. Phys.
ISSN:0002-9505

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