Even light can take on Birkeland current-like properties

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Even light can take on Birkeland current-like properties

Unread postby Michael Mozina » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:55 am

https://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2017/ ... d-of-light

The new metasurface connects two aspects of light, known as orbital angular momentum and circular polarization (or spin angular momentum). Polarization is direction along which light vibrates. In circularly polarized light, the vibration of light traces a circle. Think about orbital angular momentum and circular polarization like the motion of a planet. Circular polarization is the direction in which a planet rotates on its axis while orbital momentum describes how the planet orbits the sun.

https://www.seas.harvard.edu/sites/defa ... 20copy.gif

The fact that light can even carry orbital momentum is a relatively recent discovery — only about 25 years old — but it’s this property of light which produces strange new states, such as beams in the shape of corkscrews.


There's a very cool image of the corkscrew effect at the link provided. This should open up some interesting new research about the nature and behaviors of light.
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Re: Even light can take on Birkeland current-like properties

Unread postby seasmith » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:22 pm

Orbital Angular Momentum of Light

The use of light/laser OAM for optical 'tweezers' and other MOEM devices is fairly common these days, but i didn't know it was also used in astronomy:
http://www.icranet.org/download/ESOP/Sl ... bieri2.pdf

Your Harvard folks have come up with a clever device for generating OAM, that is tunable by polarization, and i fully expect to see it featured on the
iPhone XI.
:D
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