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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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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

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Abstract

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.