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Proceedings Paper

Photon-like solutions of Maxwell's equations in dispersive media
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Paper Abstract

The first realistically photon-like Schrödinger solution of Maxwell's classical equations in dispersive media is presented. Classical modes of transverse electric or transverse magnetic fields with angular frequency ω propagating along an axis are shown to be able to be enveloped with counter-rotating helical modulations which have a different angular frequency Ω. These helical rotations, called distributed spin rotations, propagate at the group velocity. The formation of a completely closed packet of electromagnetic energy requires that the axial fields and transverse fields have a common axial length of envelope. This forces Ω to take quantized values in terms of ω with Ω related to the Schrödinger frequencies of a harmonic oscillator. The spin rotations permit flexible transverse confinement allowing for localization of the photon wave-packet over different spatial areas. It is argued that the energy of this packet is not related to its volume but depends on the quantized helical frequency Ω. Such photon-like packets possess classical phase and group velocities in keeping with experimental evidence. A single photon-like packet does not disperse in dispersive media. Incrementing or decrementing the rate of helical rotation promotes or demotes the packet energy in keeping with standard photon theory. The model offers explanations for self-interference and entanglement.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 September 2009
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 7421, The Nature of Light: What are Photons? III, 74210M (10 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.825652
Show Author Affiliations
John E. Carroll, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Joseph Beals, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7421:
The Nature of Light: What are Photons? III
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Al F. Kracklauer; Andrei Yu. Khrennikov, Editor(s)

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