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Proceedings Paper

On the energy-momentum tensor of light in strong fields: an all optical view of the Abraham-Minkowski controversy
Author(s): Alexander J. Macleod; Adam Noble; Dino A. Jaroszynski
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Paper Abstract

The Abraham-Minkowski controversy is the debate surrounding the correct" form of the energy-momentum tensor of light in a medium. Over a century of theoretical and experimental studies have consistently produced conflicting results, with no consensus being found on how best to describe the influence of a material on the propagation of light. It has been argued that the total energy-momentum tensor for each of the theories, which includes both wave and material components, are equal. The difficulty in separating the full energy-momentum tensor is generally attributed to the fact that one cannot obtain the energy-momentum tensor of the medium for real materials. Non-linear electrodynamics provides an opportunity to approach the debate from an all optical set up, where the role of the medium is replaced by the vacuum under the influence of a strong background field. We derive, from first principles, the general form of the energy-momentum tensor in such theories, and use our results to shed some light on this long standing issue.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 May 2017
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10234, Relativistic Plasma Waves and Particle Beams as Coherent and Incoherent Radiation Sources II, 102340F (15 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2269630
Show Author Affiliations
Alexander J. Macleod, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)
Adam Noble, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)
Dino A. Jaroszynski, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10234:
Relativistic Plasma Waves and Particle Beams as Coherent and Incoherent Radiation Sources II
Dino A. Jaroszynski, Editor(s)

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