Geometrodynamics of spinning light

Konstantin Y. Bliokh, Avi Niv, Vladimir Kleiner, Erez Hasman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

506 Scopus citations


The semiclassical evolution of spinning particles has recently been re-examined in condensed matter physics, high-energy physics, and optics, resulting in the prediction of the intrinsic spin Hall effect associated with the Berry phase. A fundamental origin of this effect is related to the spin-orbit interaction and topological monopoles. Here, we report a unified theory and a direct observation of two mutual phenomena: a spin-dependent deflection (the spin Hall effect) of photons and the precession of the Stokes vector along the coiled ray trajectory of classical geometrical optics. Our measurements are in perfect agreement with theoretical predictions, thereby verifying the dynamical action of the topological Berry-phase monopole in the evolution of light. These results may have promising applications in nano-optics and can be immediately extrapolated to the evolution of massless particles in a variety of physical systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-753
Number of pages6
JournalNature Photonics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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