The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 145, Issue 1, pp 35–47

Experiments with twisted light

Some of the mechanical and quantum-mechanical properties of optical vortices

DOI: 10.1140/epjst/e2007-00146-3

Cite this article as:
Courtial, J. & O'Holleran, K. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. (2007) 145: 35. doi:10.1140/epjst/e2007-00146-3


The generic – that is, stable under perturbations – nodes of the field in a monochromatic light beam are optical vortices. We describe here their connection to Chladni's nodal lines in the oscillations of metal plates, as well as a few experiments that have been performed with optical vortices. We will describe how optical vortices can be generated experimentally; how it can be shown that they possess orbital angular momentum; how individual photons can be sorted according to their vortex state; and how optical vortices can be used to demonstrate higher-dimensional quantum entanglement.

Copyright information

© EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics & AstronomyUniversity of GlasgowScotlandUK