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Opt Express. 2011 Jul 4;19(14):12978-83. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.012978.

Search for Hermite-Gauss mode rotation in cholesteric liquid crystals.

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Huygens Laboratory, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands.


In theory, there are analogous transformations of light's spin and orbital angular momentum [Allen and Padgett, J. Mod. Opt. 54, 487 (2007)]; however, none have been observed experimentally yet. In particular, it is unknown if there exists for the orbital angular momentum of light an effect analogous to the spin angular momentum-based optical rotation; this would manifest itself as a rotation of the corresponding Hermite-Gauss mode. Here we report an experimental search for this effect in a cholesteric liquid crystal polymer, using strongly focussed, spin-orbit coupled light. We find that the relative phase velocities of the orbital modes constituting the Hermite-Gauss mode agree to within 10(-5).

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