Volume 80, Number 4, November 2007
Article Number 46002
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 23 October 2007
EPL, 80 (2007) 46002
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/80/46002

Aharonov-Bohm-like effect for light propagating in nematics with disclinations

A. M. de M. Carvalho1, C. Sátiro2 and F. Moraes2

1  Departamento de Física, Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana - BR116-Norte, Km 3, 44031-460, Feira de Santana, BA, Brazil
2  Departamento de Física, CCEN, Universidade Federal da Paraíba - Caixa Postal 5008, 58051-970 João Pessoa, PB, Brazil

received 22 May 2007; accepted in final form 20 September 2007; published November 2007
published online 23 October 2007

Using a geometric approach for the propagation of light in anisotropic media, we investigate what effect the director field of disclinations may have on the polarization state of light. Parallel transport around the defect, of the spinor describing the polarization, indicates the acquisition of a topological phase, in analogy with the Aharonov-Bohm effect.

61.30.Jf - Defects in liquid crystals.
42.70.Df - Liquid crystals.
03.65.Vf - Phases: geometric; dynamic or topological.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007