Measuring the orbital angular momentum of a single photon

J. Leach, M.J. Padgett, S.M. Barnett, S. Franke-Arnold, J. Courtial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

744 Citations (Scopus)


We propose an interferometric method for measuring the orbital angular momentum of single photons. We demonstrate its viability by sorting four different orbital angular momentum states, and are thus able to encode two bits of information on a single photon. This new approach has implications for entanglement experiments, quantum cryptography and high density information transfer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257901-1
Number of pages257900
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2002


  • photons
  • orbital angular momentum
  • entanglement
  • quantum cryptography
  • high density information transfer
  • photonics
  • optics


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