3 years ago

On polarization of vector light beams: origin of Berry phase.

Chun-Fang Li

When generalized from plane waves to general vector beams, the notion of polarization described by the Stokes parameters turns out to be defined in a momentum-associated system that is fixed by a constant unit vector, called the Stratton vector. As the true intrinsic degree of freedom in the language of quantum mechanics, the polarization of light beams in any fixed momentum-associated system is able to characterize their vectorial feature in the laboratory reference system. The Stratton vector is therefore the degree of freedom to distinguish the vectorial feature of light beams that have the same "polarization". Such an observable effect of the Stratton vector helps to understand why plane waves of the same helicity and the same momentum can be different by a Berry phase. This might be the first time to reveal the physical origin of the Berry phase.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1710.11353

DOI: arXiv:1710.11353v1

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