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Abstract: There exist two popular energy-momentum tensors for an electromagnetic wavein a dielectric medium. The Abraham expression is robust to experimentalverification but more mathematically demanding, while the Minkowski expressionis the foundation of a number of simplifications commonly found within theliterature, including the relative refractive index transformation often usedin modelling optical tweezers. These simplifications are based on neglectingthe Minkowski tensor-s material counterpart, a process known to be incompatiblewith conservation of angular momentum, and in conflict with experimentalresults, yet they are very successful in a wide range of circumstances. Thispaper combines existing constraints on their usage with recent theoreticalanalysis to obtain a list of conditions which much be satisfied to safely usethe simplified Minkowski approach. Applying these conditions to an experimentproposed by Padgett et al., we find their prediction in agreement with thatobtained using the total energy-momentum tensor.



Author: R.N.C. Pfeifer, T.A. Nieminen, N.R. Heckenberg, H. Rubinsztein-Dunlop

Source: https://arxiv.org/



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