Gaussian beams with very high orbital angular momentum

J. Courtial, K. Dholakia, L. Allen, M. J. Padgett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


An elliptical Gaussian beam focussed by a cylindrical lens can possess large amounts of orbital angular momentum. We give an expression for the angular momentum, which arises from the azimuthal component of the Poynting vector, and show that it can be as high as 10 000ℏ per photon. We examine the phase distribution of the beams in an interference experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-213
Number of pages4
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number4-6
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Dec 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by EPSRC; MJP is a Royal Society Research Fellow; KD is a Royal Society of Edinburgh ResearchF ellow.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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