Electromagnetic radiation can be emitted not only by particle charges but also by magnetic moments and higher electric and magnetic multipoles. However, experimental proofs of this fundamental fact are extremely scarce. In particular, the magnetic moment contribution has never been observed in any form of polarization radiation. Here, we propose to detect it using vortex electrons carrying large orbital angular momentum ℓ. The relative contribution of the orbital angular momentum-induced magnetic moment, ℓâ.,ω/E e, becomes much larger than the spin-induced contribution â.,ω/Ee, and it can be observed experimentally. As a particular example, we consider transition radiation from vortex electrons obliquely incident on an interface between a vacuum and a dispersive medium, in which the magnetic moment contribution manifests itself via a left-right angular asymmetry. For electrons with Ee=300 keV and ℓ=100-1000, we predict an asymmetry of the order of 0.1%-1%, which could be measured with existing technology. Thus, vortex electrons emerge as a new tool in the physics of electromagnetic radiation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)