Angular Momentum of Topologically Structured Darkness

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College of Natual Science and Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy


Angular momentum of light, Classical optics, Optical vortices


We theoretically analyze and experimentally measure the extrinsic angular momentum contribution of topologically structured darkness found within fractional vortex beams, and show that this structured darkness can be explained by evanescent waves at phase discontinuities in the generating optic. We also demonstrate the first direct measurement of the intrinsic orbital angular momentum of light with both intrinsic and extrinsic angular momentum, and explain why the total orbital angular momenta of fractional vortices do not match the winding number of their generating phases.

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