Speaker: Martin Lavery (Glasgow University, UK)

Talk Abstract: In 1992 Allen et al. recognized that light beams could carry an orbital angular momentum (OAM) in addition to the photon spin. Unlike photon spin, which can be in one of two states, OAM can be in one of an unbounded state space. The potential to encode information in this unbounded state space has recently attracted much attention by the optical communications community. This twist can be created using lenses, or holograms encoded onto liquid crystal displays. We have demonstrated that the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of the light beam may be measured by image transformation that maps the azimuthal to linear transverse co-ordinate (Berkhout et al 2010 Phys. Rev. Lett. 105 153601). For each input OAM state the transmitted light is focused to a different transverse position enabling simultaneous measurement over many states. Our measurement bandwidth is greater than 50 OAM states and can simultaneous make measurement of the radial co-ordinate. We further demonstrate the transformation working in reverse, potentially allowing for the rapid switching of OAM modes

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