Picture of a sphere with binary code

Making Strathclyde research discoverable to the world...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. It exposes Strathclyde's world leading Open Access research to many of the world's leading resource discovery tools, and from there onto the screens of researchers around the world.

Explore Strathclyde Open Access research content

Optical helicity, optical spin and related quantities in electromagnetic theory

Cameron, Robert and Barnett, Stephen and Yao, Alison (2012) Optical helicity, optical spin and related quantities in electromagnetic theory. New Journal of Physics, 14 (5). ISSN 1367-2630

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

Abstract

We examine the optical helicity, the optical spin and the ij-infra- zilches in electromagnetic theory and show that these conserved quantities can be combined to form a new description of the angular momentum associated with optical polarization: one that is analogous to the familiar description of optical energy and linear momentum. The symmetries of Maxwell’s equations that underlie the conservation of our quantities are presented and discussed. We explain that a similar but distinct set of quantities, Lipkin’s zilches, describe the ‘angular momentum’ of the curl of the electromagnetic field, rather than the angular momentum of the electromagnetic field itself.