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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2011 Dec;84(6 Pt 2):065601. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

Angular momentum flux of nonparaxial acoustic vortex beams and torques on axisymmetric objects.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-2814, USA.


An acoustic vortex in an inviscid fluid and its radiation torque on an axisymmetric absorbing object are analyzed beyond the paraxial approximation to clarify an analogy with an optical vortex. The angular momentum flux density tensor from the conservation of angular momentum is used as an efficient description of the transport of angular momentum. Analysis of a monochromatic nonparaxial acoustic vortex beam indicates that the local ratio of the axial (or radial) flux density of axial angular momentum to the axial (or radial) flux density of energy is exactly equal to the ratio of the beam's topological charge l to the acoustic frequency ω. The axial radiation torque exerted by the beam on an axisymmetric object centered on the beam's axis due to the transfer of angular momentum is proportional to the power absorbed by the object with a factor l/ω, which can be understood as a result of phonon absorption from the beam. Depending on the vortex's helicity, the torque is parallel or antiparallel to the beam's axis.

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