Senior Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Physics



Faculty Advisor(s)

Joelle Murray (Thesis Advisor)
Michael Crosser & William Mackie (Committee Members)

Subject Categories

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics | Elementary Particles and Fields and String Theory | Materials Science and Engineering | Physics | Plasma and Beam Physics


It is possible to produce electron beams with non-zero orbital angular momentum. Such beams, known as electron vortex beams, are theoretically able to transfer their orbital angular momenta to matter, causing the matter to rotate. Nanoparticles in an aqueous solution were observed with an electron vortex beam to detect the transfer of orbital angular momentum in a low-friction environment. Observing the transfer of orbital angular momentum to particles in solution is difficult due to the necessity of imaging the particles through a liquid and the random movement of particles in the solution. Thus, orbital angular momentum transfer to matter could not conclusively be observed in this environment. Initial data, observations, and a discussion of ways to eliminate particle movement, increase image quality, and reduce uncertainty of particle movement while observing orbital angular momentum transfer are discussed. Research was conducted in the Material Science Institute at the University of Oregon under the advisement of B. McMorran.