Unambiguous definition of handedness for locally chiral light

Ofer Neufeld*, Oren Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Synthetic chiral light fields were recently introduced as a novel source of chirality [Ayuso, Nat. Photonics 13, 866 (2019)10.1038/s41566-019-0531-2]. This locally chiral light spans a three-dimensional polarization that plots a chiral trajectory in space-time, leading to huge nonlinear chiral signals upon interactions with chiral media. The degree of chirality of this new form of light was defined, characterized, and shown to be proportional to the chiral signal in high harmonic generation and photo-emission. However, the sign of the light's chirality-its "handedness"-has not yet been defined. Standard definitions of helicity are inapplicable for locally chiral light due to its complex three-dimensional structure. Here, we define an unambiguous handedness for locally chiral fields and employ it in practical calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023514
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


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