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Origins and Demonstrations of Electrons with Orbital Angular Momentum

Published

Author(s)

Benjamin McMorran, Amit Agrawal, Peter Ercius, Vincenzo Grillo, Andrew Herzing, Tyler R. Harvey, Martin Linck

Abstract

The surprising message of the 1992 paper of Allen, Beijersbergen, Spreeuw, and Woerdman (ABSW) was that photons could exhibit orbital motion in free space, which subsequently launched advancements in optical manipulation, microscopy, quantum optics, communications, many more fields. It has recently been shown that this result also applies to quantum mechanical wavefunctions describing massive particles (matter waves). This article discusses how electron wavefunctions can be imprinted with quantized phase vortices in analogous ways to twisted light, demonstrating that charged particles with nonzero rest mass can exhibit orbital motion in free space. With ABSW as a bridge, connections are made between this recent work in electron vortex wavefunctions and much earlier works, extending a 175 year-old tradition in matter wave vortices.
Citation
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume
375
Issue
2087

Keywords

electron beams, optical angular momentum, electron vortex, matter wave interferometry

Citation

McMorran, B. , Agrawal, A. , Ercius, P. , Grillo, V. , Herzing, A. , Harvey, T. and Linck, M. (2017), Origins and Demonstrations of Electrons with Orbital Angular Momentum, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences, [online], https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2015.0434, https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=921670 (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created January 8, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021