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“Orbital Angular Momentum of Light and the Transformation of Laguerre-Gaussian Laser Modes” reaches milestone of 10,000 citations

The paper “Orbital Angular Momentum of Light and the Transformation of Laguerre-Gaussian Laser Modes,” published in 1992 by a team of researchers from Leiden University, among whom was cosine Founder and Managing Director Prof. Dr Marco Beijersbergen, has reached 10,000 citations. This significant milestone underscores the profound impact of their research on the scientific community.

The paper, which introduced the concept of orbital angular momentum of light and methods to generate it with laser beams, has been a cornerstone in the fields of optics and physics. Its influence was already recognized by its election as one of the “Three Classics” papers in the 50-year history of Physical Review by the American Physical Society. The publication, that according to Google Scholar was cited more than 10.000 times, was a collaborative effort by the team at Leiden University, including Robert Spreeuw who recognized the effect first whilst finishing his PhD, Marco Beijersbergen who developed methods to manipulate laser beams to generate light with orbital angular momentum and methods to analyze it as his PhD research, as well as late professors Lesley Allen, visiting scientist, and Han Woerdman, group leader, who both immediately recognized the importance and potential impact of the discovery.

Marco Beijersbergen commented: “It was incredibly exciting to be part of the discovery of orbital angular momentum of light. As a PhD student at the time, it was a unique honor to publish the first papers and conduct the initial experiments on the creation, detection, and manipulation of this phenomenon. Orbital angular momentum of light has since become a vital concept in optics, with numerous research groups around the world exploring its potential. We’ve seen significant applications, such as the manipulation of objects with optical tweezers and advancements in radio frequency communication. New concepts and applications continue to emerge regularly, showcasing its ongoing impact.”

Since 1998, Prof. Dr. Beijersbergen has been serving as the Managing Director of cosine, a company that, much like himself, acts as a bridge between academia and research. With cosine, Prof. Beijersbergen has applied the principles of his groundbreaking research to the development of advanced measurement systems. His team’s pioneering work on orbital angular momentum has laid the foundation for cosine’s advancements in LIDAR technology, optical instrumentation, and optical communication. cosine has been at the forefront of technological innovation, contributing to major space missions such as the European Space Agency’s (ESA) future Athena X-ray observatory with the groundbreaking Silicon Pore Optics technology, and multiple Earth observation and planetary science missions with numerous multi- and hyper-spectral imagers.

About cosine
cosine is a leading worldwide company in the development of space instrumentation, such as Silicon Pore Optics for astronomy and remote sensing solutions with onboard analytics for Earth Observation and planetary science. cosine combines physics and technology to bring out-of-the-box solutions to its clients. cosine has been developing and delivering innovative measurement systems for space and industrial applications since 1998. The company operates 1,300 m² of cleanrooms and high-tech assembly facilities to build and test the systems it produces for its customers at its headquarters in Sassenheim, The Netherlands.

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