Eigenpolarizations for Giant Transverse Optical Beam Shifts

Jörg B. Götte, Wolfgang Löffler, Mark R. Dennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


We show how careful control of the incident polarization of a light beam close to the Brewster angle gives a giant transverse spatial shift on reflection. This resolves the long-standing puzzle of why such beam shifts transverse to the incident plane (Imbert-Fedorov shifts) tend to be an order of magnitude smaller than the related Goos-Hänchen shifts in the longitudinal direction, which are largest close to critical incidence. We demonstrate that with the proper initial polarization the transverse displacements can be equally large, which we confirm experimentally near Brewster incidence. In contrast to the established understanding, these polarizations are elliptical and angle dependent. We explain the magnitude of the Imbert-Fedorov shift by an analogous change of the symmetry properties for the reflection operators as compared to the Goos-Hänchen shift.
Original languageEnglish
Article number233901
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2014

Bibliographical note

arXiv: 1401.5505


Dive into the research topics of 'Eigenpolarizations for Giant Transverse Optical Beam Shifts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this