Rotational frequency shift of a light beam

J. Courtial*, D. A. Robertson, K. Dholakia, L. Allen, M. J. Padgett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

242 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We explain the rotational frequency shift of a light beam in classical terms and measure it using a mm-wave source. The shift is equal to the total angular momentum per photon multiplied by the angular velocity between the source and observer. This is analogous to the translational Doppler shift, which is equal to the momentum per photon multiplied by the translational velocity. We show that the shifts due to the spin and orbital angular momentum components of the light beam act in an additive way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4828-4830
Number of pages3
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume81
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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