Experiments with twisted light
Some of the mechanical and quantum-mechanical properties of optical vorticesJ. Courtial and K. O'Holleran
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland, UK
(Published online: 26 June 2007)
The generic - that is, stable under perturbations - nodes of the field in a monochromatic light beam are optical vortices. We describe here their connection to Chladni's nodal lines in the oscillations of metal plates, as well as a few experiments that have been performed with optical vortices. We will describe how optical vortices can be generated experimentally; how it can be shown that they possess orbital angular momentum; how individual photons can be sorted according to their vortex state; and how optical vortices can be used to demonstrate higher-dimensional quantum entanglement.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag 2007