Category: Science & Technology
A team of Israeli and German researchers from Technion in Haifa and the universities of Kaiserslautern, Duisburg-Essen and Stuttgart have been able to reveal for the first time the dynamics of the orbital angular momentum of plasmons. The researchers used a combination of extremely high-quality single crystals of gold, ultrafast laser pulses and an electron microscope. Their findings are published in Science in the March 17, 2017 issue.
When an electron orbits around the nucleus in an atom, simple models describe its motion with spin and angular momentum. Spin means, in a classical picture, that the electron spins around much like a little sphere, and angular momentum describes the motion of the electron around the nucleus. This model is very similar to Earth orbiting the sun, spinning around an axis that extends from the North to the South Pole (which takes a day), while simultaneously travelling around the sun (which takes a year).