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Title: First-principles variational formulation of polarization effects in geometrical optics

The propagation of electromagnetic waves in isotropic dielectric media with local dispersion is studied under the assumption of small but nonvanishing λ/l, where λ is the wavelength and l is the characteristic inhomogeneity scale. It is commonly known that, due to nonzero λ/l, such waves can experience polarization-driven bending of ray trajectories and polarization dynamics that can be interpreted as the precession of the wave "spin". The present work reports how Lagrangians describing these effects can be deduced, rather than guessed, within a strictly classical theory. In addition to the commonly known ray Lagrangian that features the Berry connection, a simple alternative Lagrangian is proposed that naturally has a canonical form. The presented theory captures not only the eigenray dynamics but also the dynamics of continuous-wave fields and rays with mixed polarization, or "entangled" waves. In conclusion, the calculation assumes stationary lossless media with isotropic local dispersion, but generalizations to other media are straightforward.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States). Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1256590
Report Number(s):
PPPL--5186
Journal ID: ISSN 1050-2947; PLRAAN
Grant/Contract Number:
DE274-FG52-08NA28553; AC02-09CH11466; HDTRA1-11-1-0037
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review. A
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 92; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1050-2947
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS inhomogeneous-medium; Hamiltonian PDEs; waves; phase; quantum; photon; light; optics