XL Workshop on Geometric Methods in Physics Białowieża, 2-8.07.2023 XII School on Geometry and Physics Białystok, 26-30.06.2023

Daniel Hodgson

Resolving the Abraham-Minkowski controversy with symmetry arguments

In the presence of dielectric media, the speed of light, as well as the direction of propagation of incoming wave packets, can change. The Abraham-Minkowski controversy examines the question of which form of the electromagnetic momentum is conserved when transitioning between media of different refractive indices. By adopting a recent quantisation of the EM field in the position representation, in this talk I shall derive a locally-acting mirror Hamiltonian for the reflection and transmission of light near the boundary between two different media. This shall be achieved by applying symmetry arguments, as well as by ensuring that photon number is conserved. As the expectation values of all observables commuting with this Hamiltonian must be conserved, different expressions for momentum can be more fully understood in the context of local unitary interactions.
Event sponsored by
University of Białystok
University of Białystok
Doskonala Nauka