On the six components of optical angular momentum

Stephen M. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)
253 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In special relativity the angular momentum is a rank-two antisymmetric tensor with six independent components. Three of these are the familiar generators of spatial rotation, which for light have been studied at length. The remaining three, which are responsible for the Lorentz boosts, have largely been neglected. We introduce the latter and compare their properties with those of the more familiar generators of rotations. The seemingly natural separation of the generators of Lorentz boosts into spin and orbital parts fails, however, as the spin part is identically zero.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064010
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Optics
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

Keywords

  • optical angular momentum
  • Lorentz boosts
  • light
  • spin
  • entanglement
  • photons
  • fields
  • states
  • beam

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'On the six components of optical angular momentum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this