Optical EngineeringAngular momentum of light and its effect on a birefringent medium
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The mechanical torque exerted by a beam of polarized light on a half waveplate that alters the state of polarization is calculated for several laser wavelengths and intensities using electromagnetic theory. The second-order torque that arises through the nonlinear interaction is formulated, and the numerical values are obtained for the 42m crystal class. The experiment used to detect the existence of the torque is reviewed and a demonstration experiment is suggested.