A spirally rotating backward flow of light
Kotlyar V.V., Nalimov A.G.

 

Samara National Research University, 34, Moskovskoye shosse, Samara, 443086, Samara, Russia,
IPSI RAS – Branch of the FSRC “Crystallography and Photonics” RAS, Molodogvardeyskaya 151, 443001, Samara, Russia

Abstract:
Using Richards-Wolf formulas, we show that when a left-hand circularly polarized optical vortex with the topological charge 3 is sharply focused in an aplanatic system, a backward near-axis energy flow is observed in the focal plane. While being zero on the axis, the backward flow is only 2-3 times smaller in magnitude than the incident energy flow coming to the focus. It is also shown that near the optical axis the reverse flow propagates spiraling counter-clockwise about the optical axis. The presence of the near-axis backward flow of energy is also shown by the FDTD-aided numerical simulation of diffraction of a circularly polarized plane wave by a third-order spiral zone plate with the NA ≈ 1. A Rayleigh microparticle captured in the focus vicinity is expected to move in the opposite direction to the beam propagation.

Keywords:
backward energy flow, optical vortex, rotating beams, Umov–Poynting vector.

Citation:
Kotlyar VV, Nalimov AG. A spirally rotating backward flow of light. Computer Optics 2018; 42(4): 527-533. DOI: 10.18287/2412-6179-2018-42-4-527-533.

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