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Rotation of electromagnetic fields and the nature of optical angular momentum

Barnett, Stephen M. (2010) Rotation of electromagnetic fields and the nature of optical angular momentum. Journal of Modern Optics, 57 (14-15). pp. 1339-1343. ISSN 0950-0340

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Abstract

The association of spin and orbital angular momenta of light with its polarization and helical phase fronts is now well established. The problems in linking this with electromagnetic theory, as expressed in Maxwell's equations, are rather less well known. We present a simple analysis of the problems involved in defining spin and orbital angular momenta for electromagnetic fields and discuss some of the remaining challenges. Crucial to our investigation is the duplex symmetry between the electric and magnetic fields.