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Angular momentum of multimode and polarization patterns

Zambrini, Roberta and Barnett, Stephen M. (2007) Angular momentum of multimode and polarization patterns. Optics Express, 15 (23). pp. 15214-15227. ISSN 1094-4087

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We study the mechanical properties of a broad class of multimode and polarization light patterns, resulting from the interference and superposition of waves in helical modes. General local and global properties of energy and angular momentum ( AM) are identified, in order to define the conditions to optimize the AM with increasing beam complexity. We show the possibility to engineer independently the local densities of optical AM and energy, opening the possibility of an experimental demonstration of their respective effects in light-matter interaction. Multimode Laguerre-Gaussian beams also allows us to tailor the local spin AM through the Gouy phase.