Optical Molasses and the Orbital Angular Momentum of Light

  • M. Babiker
  • V. E. Lembessis
  • L. Allen
Conference paper


Recent work has shownl,2 that the near-resonance interaction of atoms with a Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) beam provides new effects associated with the orbital angular momentum properties of the light3. In particular such atoms are subject to a torque about the beam axis and an additional non-axial Doppler shift. It has been suggested1,2 that these mechanisms may have some useful consequences in the field of cooling and trapping of atoms and ions. We have therefore considered the dissipative force on a two-level atom due to two counter-propagating LG beams 1 and 2.


Orbital Angular Momentum Axial Motion Azimuthal Velocity Dissipative Force Angular Momentum Quantum Number 
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  1. 1.
    M. Babiker, L. Allen and W. L. Power, "Light-induced torque on moving atoms", Phys. Rev. Lett. 73, 1239 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    L. Allen, M. Babiker and W. L. Power, "Azimuthal Doppler shift in light beams with orbital angular momentum", Opt. Comm. 112, 141 (1994)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    L. Allen, M. W. Beijersbergen, R. J. C. Spreeuw and J. P. Woerdinan, "Orbital angular momentum and the transformation of Laguerre-Gaussian laser moders", Phys. Rev. A45, 8185 (1992).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    H. A. Haus, Waves and Fields in Optoelectronics, ( Prentice Hall, New Jersey 1984 )Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Babiker
    • 1
  • V. E. Lembessis
    • 1
  • L. Allen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of EssexColchesterUK

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