Transferring orbital and spin angular momenta of light to atoms

A. Picón, A. Benseny, J. Mompart, J. R. De Vázquez Aldana, L. Plaja, G. F. Calvo, L. Roso

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124 Citations (Scopus)


Light beams carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM), such as Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) beams, give rise to the violation of the standard dipolar selection rules during interaction with matter, yielding, in general, an exchange of angular momentum larger than h per absorbed photon. By means of ab initio three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulations, we investigate in detail the interaction of a hydrogen atom with intense Gaussian and LG light pulses. We analyze the dependence of the angular momentum exchange with the polarization, the OAM and the carrier-envelope phase of light, as well as with the relative position between the atom and the light vortex. In addition, a quantum-trajectory approach based on the de Broglie-Bohm formulation of quantum mechanics is used to gain physical insight into the absorption of angular momentum by the hydrogen atom. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
Original languageEnglish
Article number083053
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2010


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