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Proceedings Paper

Momentum of the electromagnetic field in transparent dielectric media
Author(s): Masud Mansuripur
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Paper Abstract

We present arguments in favor of the proposition that the momentum of light inside a transparent dielectric medium is the arithmetic average of the Minkowski and Abraham momenta. Using the Lorentz transformation of the fields (and of the coordinates) from a stationary to a moving reference frame, we show the consistent transformation of electromagnetic energy and momentum between the two frames. We also examine the momentum of static (i.e., time-independent) electromagnetic fields, and show that the close connection that exists between the Poynting vector and the momentum density extends all the way across the frequency spectrum to this zero-frequency limit. In the specific example presented in this paper, the static field inside a non-absorbing dielectric material turns out to have the Minkowski momentum.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 September 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6644, Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation IV, 664413 (5 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.733435
Show Author Affiliations
Masud Mansuripur, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6644:
Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation IV
Kishan Dholakia; Gabriel C. Spalding, Editor(s)

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