Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Irina Novikova

Committee Members

Jonathan Frey

Keith Griffioen


We explore the conservation of orbital angular momentum (OAM) in the four-wave mixing (FWM) process in hot rubidium vapor. Since most modern communication systems send data in pulses corresponding to bits, we can use OAM to encode more information in each pulse by assigning structure to each signal. Furthermore, because FWM can be used to generate entangled photon pairs, we can use this process to bring enhanced signal security. We experimentally studied FWM with a wide range of Laguerre-Gaussian modes and their superpositions and observed OAM transfer from the probe field to a generated Stokes field. By studying the output Stokes intensity and phase distributions, we confirm l mode (OAM) conservation for pure l and p modes, as well as for the superpositions of l and -l for the mode numbers up to l = 4, p = 4. We also found that p index is generally not conserved and its conservation is highly dependent on the relative sizes of the probe and pump beams in the Rb cell. We also identify parameters to improve FWM gain with OAM transfer and propose an analytical method for determining OAM p number.