Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Longitudinal fields and transverse rotations

Electromagnetic fields in light waves are mainly transverse to propagation direction but actually also have longitudinal components, which may give rise to unexpected optical phenomena involving the angular momentum of light, such as transverse spin and optical torques.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Longitudinal and transverse components of optical fields, in free space and in anisotropic media.


  1. 1.

    Eismann, J. S. et al. Nat. Photon. (2021).

  2. 2.

    El Ketara, M., Kobayashi, H & Brasselet, E. Nat. Photon. (2021).

  3. 3.

    Aiello, A., Banzer, P., Neugebauer, M. & Leuchs, G. Nat. Photon. 9, 789–795 (2015).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Rodríguez-Fortuño, F. J. et al. Science 340, 328–330 (2013).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Marrucci, L. Nat. Phys. 11, 9–10 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Zolot’ko, A. S., Kitaeva, V. F., Kroo, N., Sobolev, N. N. & Csillag, L. J. Exp. Theor. Phys. Lett. 32, 158–161 (1980).

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    O’Neil, A. T., MacVicar, I., Allen, L. & Padgett, M. J. Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 053601 (2002).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Bliokh, K. Y., Rodríguez-Fortuño, F. J., Nori, F. & Zayats, A. V. Nat. Photon. 9, 796–808 (2015).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Cardano, F. & Marrucci, L. Nat. Photon. 9, 776–778 (2015).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Won, R. Nat. Photon. 11, 619–622 (2017).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Wang, J., Sciarrino, F., Laing, A. & Thompson, M. G. Nat. Photon. 14, 273–284 (2020).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Ambrosio, A., Marrucci, L., Borbone, F., Roviello, A. & Maddalena, P. Nat. Commun. 3, 989 (2012).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Filippo Cardano or Lorenzo Marrucci.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Cardano, F., Marrucci, L. Longitudinal fields and transverse rotations. Nat. Photonics 15, 72–74 (2021).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing