Covariant formulation of spin optics for electromagnetic waves

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1 Citation (Scopus)


We develop geometric optics expansion up to the subleading order for circularly polarized electromagnetic waves on curved spacetime. This subleading order geometric optics expansion, in which the conventional eikonal function is modified by inserting a carefully chosen helicity-dependent correction, is called spin optics. We derive the propagation and polarization equations in the spin optics approximation as electromagnetic waves travel in curved spacetime. Polarization-dependent deviation of the light ray trajectory from the geodesic, describing the gravitational spin Hall effect, is observed. We also establish an analogy with the related phenomena (optical Magnus effect) of condensed matter physics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Physics B: Lasers and Optics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


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