Recently, according to reports from the Physicist Organization Network, an international scientific research team composed of scientists from Spain and the United States announced that they have discovered a new properties of light: light travels in a spiral. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes how they happened upon the new feature and its possible uses.
Light has some well-known properties, such as wavelength, spin, etc. Recently, researchers discovered that light can also be twisted, a property called angular momentum.
Beams with highly structured angular momentum are said to have orbital angular momentum (OAM) and are called vortex beams. They look like a spiral around a common center, and when they hit a flat surface, they look like a donut. In this new study, researchers are using OAM beams because they discovered that light behaves in ways that have never been seen before.
In the experiment, the researchers first fired two laser beams into an argon gas cloud. In doing so, they forced the beams to overlap. They connected and were released as a single beam from the other side of the argon gas cloud. The result was a vortex beam. The researchers wanted to find out what would happen if the lasers had different orbital angular momentum and they were slightly out of sync. The experiment resulted in a beam that looked like a corkscrew, with gradually changing distortions. When this light hits a flat surface, it looks like a crescent moon.