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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 15, Iss. 5 — Mar. 5, 2007
  • pp: 2677–2682

Radiation Pressure on Submerged Mirrors: Implications for the Momentum of Light in Dielectric Media

Masud Mansuripur  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 5, pp. 2677-2682 (2007)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.15.002677


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Abstract

Radiation pressure measurements on mirrors submerged in dielectric liquids have consistently shown an effective Minkowski momentum for the photons within the liquid. Using an exact theoretical calculation based on Maxwell’s equations and the Lorentz law of force, we demonstrate that this result is a consequence of the fact that conventional mirrors impart, upon reflection, a 180° phase shift to the incident beam of light. If the mirror is designed to impart a different phase, then the effective momentum will turn out to be anywhere between the two extremes of the Minkowski and Abraham momenta. Since all values in the range between these two extremes are equally likely to be found in experiments, we argue that the photon momentum inside a dielectric host has the arithmetic mean value of the Abraham and Minkowski momenta.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

History
Original Manuscript: January 17, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: February 22, 2007
Published: March 5, 2007

Virtual Issues
Vol. 2, Iss. 4 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
Masud Mansuripur, "Radiation Pressure on Submerged Mirrors: Implications for the Momentum of Light in Dielectric Media," Opt. Express 15, 2677-2682 (2007)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-15-5-2677


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References

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