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On the helicity conservation for Mie optical cavities

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posted on 2023-01-12, 15:43 authored by Jorge Olmos-Trigo, Xavier Zambrana-Puyalto
The study of helicity in the context of light-matter interactions is an increasing area of research. However, some fundamental aspects of the helicity content of light fields inside scatterers have been overlooked. In this work, we demonstrate that the helicity of light fields inside lossless spherical cavities cannot be either conserved or sign-flipped as a result of a scattering event. The underlying reason is that the internal electric and magnetic Mie coefficients cannot simultaneously oscillate with equal amplitude and equal/opposite phase. Our analytical demonstration is fulfilled regardless of the refractive index, sphere size, and multipolar order. In addition, we show that the helicity of light fields inside lossy spheres can be conserved. This fact is in striking contrast to the behavior of the scattered field, whose helicity content cannot be conserved precisely when the sphere has losses. Finally, we show that the helicity content of internal fields can be flipped for materials with gain.



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