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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 13, Iss. 6 — Mar. 21, 2005
  • pp: 2064–2074

Radiation pressure on a dielectric wedge

Masud Mansuripur, Armis R. Zakharian, and Jerome V. Moloney  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 13, Issue 6, pp. 2064-2074 (2005)

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The force of electromagnetic radiation on a dielectric medium may be derived by a direct application of the Lorentz law of classical electrodynamics. While the light’s electric field acts upon the (induced) bound charges in the medium, its magnetic field exerts a force on the bound currents. We use the example of a wedge-shaped solid dielectric, immersed in a transparent liquid and illuminated at Brewster’s angle, to demonstrate that the linear momentum of the electromagnetic field within dielectrics has neither the Minkowski nor the Abraham form; rather, the correct expression for momentum density has equal contributions from both. The time rate of change of the incident momentum thus expressed is equal to the force exerted on the wedge plus that experienced by the surrounding liquid.

© 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: January 6, 2005
Revised Manuscript: March 8, 2005
Published: March 21, 2005

Masud Mansuripur, Armis Zakharian, and Jerome Moloney, "Radiation pressure on a dielectric wedge," Opt. Express 13, 2064-2074 (2005)

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