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Spin/momentum properties of the paraxial optical beams

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posted on 2023-01-10, 03:28 authored by Peng Shi, Heng Li, Luping Du, Xiaocong Yuan
Spin angular momentum, an elementary dynamical property of classical electromagnetic fields, plays an important role in spin-orbit and light-matter interactions, especially in near-field optics. The research on optical spins has led to the discovery of phenomena such as optical spin-momentum locking and photonic topological quasiparticles, as well as applications in high-precision detection and nanometrology. Here, we investigate spin-momentum relations in paraxial optical systems and show that the optical spin angular momentum contains transverse and longitudinal spin components simultaneously. The transverse spin originates from inhomogeneities of field and governed by the vorticity of the kinetic momentum density, whereas the longitudinal spin parallel to the local canonical momentum is proportional to the polarization ellipticity of light. Moreover, the skyrmionlike spin textures arise from the optical transverse spin can be observed in paraxial beams, and their topologies are maintained free from the influence of the Gouy phase during propagation. Interestingly, the optical singularities, including both phase and polarization singularities, can also affect the spin-momentum properties significantly. Our findings describe the intrinsic spin-momentum properties in paraxial optical systems and apply in the analysis of the properties of spin-momentum in optical focusing, imaging, and scattering systems.

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