Orbital Angular Momentum Effects of Light on Atoms; A Density-Matrix Theory

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


It has been shown1 that Laguerre-Gaussian light beams possess quantised orbital angular momentum, ℓℏ. A quantum calculation of the interaction of such beams with a free atom has shown that both the internal and gross motions of the atom are affected. The internal motion manifests itself as an additional shift in the resonance, called the Azimuthal Doppler shift2, while the atom also experiences a quantised torque about the axis of the beam3.


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Orbital Angular Momentum Rabi Frequency Internal Motion Free Atom 
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  1. 1.
    L. Allen, M.W. Beijersbergen, R.J.C. Spreeuw and J.P. Woerdman, “Orbital angular momentum and the transformation of Laguerre-Gaussian laser modes”Phys.Rev A. 45: 81–85 (1992).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    L. Allen, M. Babiker and W.L. Power, “Azimuthal Doppler shift in light beams with orbital angular momentum” Opt.Commun. 112: 141 (1994).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    C. Cohen-Tannoudji, J. Dupont-Roc and G. Grynberg, “Atom-Photon Interactions: Basic Processes and Applications”, Wiley Interscience, New York (1992)Google Scholar
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    H.C. Torrey, “Transient nutations in nuclear magnetic resonance” Phys.Rev 76: 1059 (1949)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
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    L. Allen and J.H. Eberley, “Optical Resonance and Two-Level Atoms”, Wiley Interscience, New York (1975).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

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

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