Abstract

A scheme to study the effect of residual phase gradients in an optical interference between two out-of-phase Gaussian beams is proposed. In a Sagnac interferometer configured to provide a null output, a variable linear phase swept across the null point unfolds an optical field rotation due to an apparently negligible residual phase gradient present orthogonal to the linear phase sweep. As the optical beam that rotates around its propagation axis carries orbital angular momentum, the experimental results presented in this Letter could provide an insight into the momentum change associated with the energy redistribution in the fundamental phenomenon of optical interference.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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