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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 13, Iss. 6 — Mar. 21, 2005
  • pp: 2245–2250

Optics InfoBase > Optics Express > Volume 13 > Issue 6 > Radiation pressure and the linear momentum of light in dispersive dielectric media

Radiation pressure and the linear momentum of light in dispersive dielectric media

Masud Mansuripur  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 13, Issue 6, pp. 2245-2250 (2005)

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We derive an exact expression for the radiation pressure of a quasi-monochromatic plane wave incident from the free space onto the flat surface of a semi-infinite dielectric medium. In order to account for the total optical momentum (incident plus reflected) that is transferred to the dielectric, the mechanical momentum acquired by the medium must be added to the rate of flow of the electromagnetic momentum (the so-called Abraham momentum) inside the dielectric. We confirm that the electromagnetic momentum travels with the group velocity of light inside the medium. The photon drag effect in which the photons captured in a semiconductor appear to have the Minkowski momentum is explained by analyzing a model system consisting of a thin absorptive layer embedded in a transparent dielectric.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.7010) Lasers and laser optics : Laser trapping
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: February 18, 2005
Revised Manuscript: March 14, 2005
Published: March 21, 2005

Masud Mansuripur, "Radiation pressure and the linear momentum of light in dispersive dielectric media," Opt. Express 13, 2245-2250 (2005)

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  1. M. Mansuripur, �??Radiation pressure and the linear momentum of the electromagnetic field,�?? Opt. Express 12, 5375-5401 (2004), <a href="http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-12-22-375.">http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-12-22-375.</a> [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  2. J. P. Gordon, �??Radiation forces and momenta in dielectric media,�?? Phys. Rev. A 8, 14-21 (1973). [CrossRef]
  3. J. D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics, 2nd edition (Wiley, New York, 1975).
  4. R. Loudon, �??Theory of the radiation pressure on dielectric surfaces,�?? J. Mod. Opt. 49, 821-838 (2002). [CrossRef]
  5. Y. N. Obukhov and F. W. Hehl, �??Electromagnetic energy-momentum and forces in matter,�?? Phys. Lett. A 311, 277-284 (2003). [CrossRef]
  6. M. Mansuripur, A. R. Zakharian, and J. V. Moloney, �??Radiation pressure on a dielectric wedge,�?? accepted for publication, Opt. Express, 2005.
  7. A. F. Gibson, M. F. Kimmitt, and A. C. Walker, �??Photon drag in Germanium,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 17, 75-77 (1970). [CrossRef]
  8. R. Loudon, S. M. Barnett, and C. Baxter, �??Theory of radiation pressure and momentum transfer in dielectrics: the photon drag effect,�?? to appear in 2005.

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