RSS icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Vimeo icon
YouTube icon

Generation and detection of spin-orbit coupled neutron beams

TitleGeneration and detection of spin-orbit coupled neutron beams
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsD. Sarenac, C. Kapahi, W. Chen, C. W. Clark, D. G. Cory, M. G. Huber, I. Taminiau, K. Zhernenkov, and D. A. Pushin
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Extensive interest has been placed on the techniques to prepare and characterize optical and matter wave orbital angular momentum (OAM) beams and spin correlated OAM beams. They have been shown to be useful in a wide range of applications such as microscopy, quantum information processing, material characterization, and communication protocols. Here we demonstrate an observation of spin-orbit beams and lattices of spin-orbit beams with neutrons. Neutrons, which do not possess a charge and have significant mass, are probes of nature that are complementary to photons and electrons. The techniques shown here enable neutron OAM applications in material characterization and fundamental physics.Spin-orbit coupling of light has come to the fore in nanooptics and plasmonics, and is a key ingredient of topological photonics and chiral quantum optics. We demonstrate a basic tool for incorporating analogous effects into neutron optics: the generation and detection of neutron beams with coupled spin and orbital angular momentum. The 3He neutron spin filters are used in conjunction with specifically oriented triangular coils to prepare neutron beams with lattices of spin-orbit correlations, as demonstrated by their spin-dependent intensity profiles. These correlations can be tailored to particular applications, such as neutron studies of topological materials.