Plasma Physics Seminar (Phys 769)

Dr. Daniel Gordon, Naval Research Laboratory
Angular Momentum of Light in Blowout Laser Wakefields

The angular momentum of light can be written as the sum of a spin contribution and an orbital contribution. The angular momentum of Hermite-Gaussian and Laguerre-Gaussian modes is illustrated in terms of the flow of electromagnetic energy. The case where intense radiation with purely spin angular momentum interacts with a plasma is examined. Analysis and three dimensional simulations indicate that the spin contribution is nonlinearly coupled into the orbital contribution. The scattered radiation is in the form of an electro-optic shock. Experimental results suggest that this radiation is useful as a diagnostic of blowout laser wakefields.

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