Picture of two heads

Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

Twisting light to trap atoms

Franke-Arnold, Sonja and Arnold, Aidan S. (2008) Twisting light to trap atoms. American Scientist, 96 (3). pp. 226-233. ISSN 0003-0996

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)


Scientists are now exploiting orbital angular momentum in various experiments. Orbital angular momentum can arise if phase fronts, such as wave crests, become twisted around the direction of light propagation. Since the phenomenon was confirmed in 1992, researchers have investigated it in many experiments, initially with classical techniques but increasingly on the quantum level. Areas where orbital angular momentum can be used include in optical tweezers to rotate small particles; it can also be transferred from light to ultracold molecules, and it can be used as a model for applications in quantum cryptography.