Rotational frequency shift of a light beam

J. Courtial, D. A. Robertson, K. Dholakia, L. Allen, M. J. Padgett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We explain the rotational frequency shift of a light beam in classical terms and measure it using a mm-wave source. The shift is equal to the total angular momentum per photon multiplied by the angular velocity between the source and observer. This is analogous to the translational Doppler shift, which is equal to the momentum per photon multiplied by the translational velocity. We show that the shifts due to the spin and orbital angular momentum components of the light beam act in an additive way.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Angular Momentum
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781482269017
ISBN (Print)9780750309011
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 19

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2003 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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