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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 14, Iss. 24 — Nov. 27, 2006
  • pp: 11855–11869

Theory of the radiation pressure on dielectric slabs, prisms and single surfaces

Rodney Loudon and Stephen M. Barnett  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 14, Issue 24, pp. 11855-11869 (2006)

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Two alternative formulations of the Lorentz force theory of radiation pressure on macroscopic bodies are reviewed. The theories treat the medium respectively as formed from individual dipoles and from individual charges. The former theory is applied to the systems of dielectric slab and dielectric prism, where it is shown that the total torque and force respectively agree with the results of the latter theory. The longitudinal shift of the slab caused by the passage of a single-photon pulse is calculated by Einstein box and Lorentz force theories, with identical results. The Lorentz forces on a single dielectric surface are shown to differ in the two theories and the basic reasons for the discrepancy are discussed. Both top-hat and Gaussian transverse beam profiles are considered.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: September 26, 2006
Revised Manuscript: November 3, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: November 6, 2006
Published: November 27, 2006

Rodney Loudon and Stephen M. Barnett, "Theory of the radiation pressure on dielectric slabs, prisms and single surfaces," Opt. Express 14, 11855-11869 (2006)

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Fig. 1. Fig. 2.

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