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Title: Decomposition of the total momentum in a linear dielectric into field and matter components

The long-standing resolution of the Abraham–Minkowski electromagnetic momentum controversy is predicated on a decomposition of the total momentum of a closed continuum electrodynamic system into separate field and matter components. Using a microscopic model of a simple linear dielectric, we derive Lagrangian equations of motion for the electric dipoles and show that the dielectric can be treated as a collection of stationary simple harmonic oscillators that are driven by the electric field and produce a polarization field in response. The macroscopic energy and momentum are defined in terms of the electric, magnetic, and polarization fields that travel through the dielectric together as a pulse of electromagnetic radiation. We conclude that both the macroscopic total energy and the macroscopic total momentum are entirely electromagnetic in nature for a simple linear dielectric in the absence of significant reflections. -- Highlights: •The total momentum in a dielectric is identified by conservation principles. •The total momentum in a dielectric cannot be decomposed into field and matter parts. •A component of momentum in a dielectric is due to motion of the polarization field.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22224228
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Annals of Physics (New York); Journal Volume: 338; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; DIELECTRIC MATERIALS; ELECTRIC DIPOLES; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION; EQUATIONS OF MOTION; HARMONIC OSCILLATORS; LAGRANGIAN FUNCTION; LORENTZ FORCE; MATTER; MINKOWSKI SPACE; POLARIZATION; RESOLUTION