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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Franco Gori
  • Vol. 29, Iss. 8 — Aug. 1, 2012
  • pp: 1568–1570

Reexamination of the Doppler effect through Maxwell’s equations

Wei Guo and Yildirim Aktas  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 29, Issue 8, pp. 1568-1570 (2012)

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In this work, the electric field emitted from a moving source, an electric point dipole, is analyzed for the purpose of illustrating the physics behind the Doppler effect. It is found that if the (translational) motion of the source is nonrelativistic, the Doppler effect is realized in two steps: the motion of the source first causes the dyadic Green function associated with the electric field to acquire an oscillation frequency in the far-field region of the source, and then the frequency leads to the Doppler effect. It is also demonstrated that the Doppler effect is observable only in the far-field region of the source.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(000.2690) General : General physics
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: March 15, 2012
Revised Manuscript: June 14, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: June 15, 2012
Published: July 18, 2012

Wei Guo and Yildirim Aktas, "Reexamination of the Doppler effect through Maxwell’s equations," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 29, 1568-1570 (2012)

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  1. The Doppler effect exists in different branches of physics. The present work is limited in the optical domain, and only focused on the change of frequency as a result of the motion of the source.
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  9. O. Keller, “Attached and radiated electromagnetic fields of an electric point dipole,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 16, 835–847 (1999). [CrossRef]
  10. O. Keller, “Propagator picture of the spatial confinement of quantum light emitted from an atom,” Phys. Rev. A 58, 3407–3425 (1998). [CrossRef]

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