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Journal Article

Note on the helicity decomposition of spin and orbital optical currents


Aiello,  Andrea
Optical Quantum Information Theory, Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Aiello, A., & Berry, M. V. (2015). Note on the helicity decomposition of spin and orbital optical currents. JOURNAL OF OPTICS, 17(6): 062001. doi:10.1088/2040-8978/17/6/062001.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-63BA-B
In the helicity representation, the Poynting vector (current) for a monochromatic optical field, when calculated using either the electric or the magnetic field, separates into right-handed and left-handed contributions, with no cross-helicity contributions. Cross-helicity terms do appear in the orbital and spin contributions to the current. But when the electric and magnetic formulas are averaged ('electric-magnetic democracy'), these terms cancel, restoring the separation into right-handed and left-handed currents for orbital and spin separately.