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Light beams with fractional orbital angular momentum and their vortex structure

Gotte, J.B. and O'Holleran, K. and Preece, D. and Flossmann, F. and Franke-Arnold, S. and Barnett, S.M. and Padgett, M.J. (2008) Light beams with fractional orbital angular momentum and their vortex structure. Optics Express, 16 (2). pp. 993-1006. ISSN 1094-4087

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Abstract

Light emerging from a spiral phase plate with a non-integer phase step has a complicated vortex structure and is unstable on propagation. We generate light carrying fractional orbital angular momentum (OAM) not with a phase step but by a synthesis of Laguerre-Gaussian modes. By limiting the number of different Gouy phases in the superposition we produce a light beam which is well characterised in terms of its propagation. We believe that their structural stability makes these beams ideal for quantum information processes utilising fractional OAM states.