Spin and orbital Hall effects for diffracting optical beams in gradient-index media


We examine the evolution of paraxial beams carrying intrinsic spin and orbital angular momenta (AM) in gradient-index media. A parabolic-type equation is derived which describes the beam diffraction in curvilinear coordinates accompanying the central ray. The center of gravity of the beam experiences transverse AM-dependent deflections -- the spin and orbital Hall effects. The spin Hall effect generates a transverse translation of the beam as a whole, in precise agreement with recent geometrical optics predictions. At the same time, the orbital Hall effect is significantly affected by the diffraction in the inhomogeneous medium and is accompanied by changes in the intrinsic orbital AM and deformations of the beam.Comment: 4 pages, 2 figures, to appear in Phys. Rev.

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