Light emerging from a spiral phase plate with a non-integer phase step has a complicated vortex structure and is unstable on propagation. We generate light carrying fractional orbital angular momentum (OAM) not with a phase step but by a synthesis of Laguerre-Gaussian modes. By limiting the number of different Gouy phases in the superposition we produce a light beam which is well characterised in terms of its propagation. We believe that their structural stability makes these beams ideal for quantum information processes utilising fractional OAM states.
- light beams
- fractional orbital angular momentum
- vortex structure