Angular momentum exchange between light and material media deduced from the Doppler shift

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Electromagnetic waves carry energy as well as linear and angular momenta. When a light pulse is reflected from, transmitted through, or absorbed by a material medium, energy and momentum (both linear and angular) are generally exchanged, while the total amount of each entity remains intact. The extent of such exchanges between light and matter can be deduced, among other methods, with the aid of the Doppler shift phenomenon. The main focus of the present paper is on the transfer of angular momentum from a monochromatic light pulse to spinning objects such as a mirror, an absorptive dielectric, or a birefringent plate. The fact that individual photons of frequency ωo carry energy in the amount of ℏωo, where ℏ is Planck's reduced constant, enables one to relate the Doppler shift to the amount of energy exchanged. Under certain circumstances, the knowledge of exchanged energy leads directly to a determination of the momentum transferred from the photon to the material body, or vice versa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation IX
StatePublished - 2012
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation IX - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 12 2012Aug 16 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation IX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Angular momentum exchange between light and material media deduced from the Doppler shift'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this