This paper is devoted to a study of the propagation of light beams carrying orbital angular momentum in optically anisotropic media. We first review some properties of homogeneous anisotropic media, and describe how the paraxial formalism is modified in order to proceed with a new approach dealing with the general setting of paraxial propagation along uniaxial inhomogeneous media. This approach is suitable for describing space-variant optical-axis phase plates. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.
- anisotropic media
- Laguerre-Gaussian modes
- orbital angular momentum of light
- Spin angular momentum of light