We examine, both experimentally and theoretically, an interaction of tightly focused polarized light with a slit on a metal surface supporting plasmon-polariton modes. Remarkably, this simple system can be highly sensitive to the polarization of the incident light and offers a perfect quantum weak measurement tool with a built-in postselection in the plasmon-polariton mode. We observe the plasmonic spin Hall effect in both coordinate and momentum spaces which is interpreted as weak measurements of the helicity of light with real and imaginary weak values determined by the input polarization. Our experiment combines the advantages of (i) quantum weak measurements, (ii) near-field plasmonic systems, and (iii) high-numerical aperture microscopy in employing the spin-orbit interaction of light and probing light chirality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (all)