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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Jul 29;107(5):053601. Epub 2011 Jul 25.

Higher-order Poincaré sphere, stokes parameters, and the angular momentum of light.

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The City College of New York of the City University of New York, New York, NY 10031, USA.


A higher-order Poincaré sphere and Stokes parameter representation of the higher-order states of polarization of vector vortex beams that includes radial and azimuthal polarized cylindrical vector beams is presented. The higher-order Poincaré sphere is constructed by naturally extending the Jones vector basis of plane wave polarization in terms of optical spin angular momentum to the total optical angular momentum that includes higher dimensional orbital angular momentum. The salient properties of this representation are illustrated by its ability to describe the higher-order modes of optical fiber waveguides, more exotic vector beams, and a higher-order Pancharatnam-Berry geometric phase.

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