Angular momentum transfer in interaction of Laguerre-Gaussian beams with atoms and molecules
Physical Review A. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Exchange of orbital angular momentum between Laguerre-Gaussian beam of light and center-of-mass motion of an atom or molecule is well known. We show that orbital angular momentum of light can also be transferred to the internal electronic or rotational motion of an atom or a molecule provided the internal and center-of-mass motions are coupled. However, this transfer does not happen directly to the internal motion, but via center-of-mass motion. If atoms or molecules are cooled down to recoil
... mit then an exchange of angular momentum between the quantized center-of-mass motion and the internal motion is possible during interaction of cold atoms or molecules with Laguerre-Gaussian beam. The orientation of the exchanged angular momentum is determined by the sign of the winding number of Laguerre-Gaussian beam. We have presented selective results of numerical calculations for the quadrupole transition rates in interaction of Laguerre-Gaussian beam with an atomic Bose-Einstein condensate to illustrate the underlying mechanism of light orbital angular momentum transfer. We discuss how the alignment of diatomic molecules will facilitate to explore the effects of light orbital angular momentum on electronic motion of molecules.