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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Optical momentum in negative-index media

Scullion, M.G. and Barnett, S.M. (2008) Optical momentum in negative-index media. Journal of Modern Optics, 55 (14). pp. 2301-2309. ISSN 0950-0340

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Abstract

The correct form of the energy-momentum tensor in a dielectric has been the subject of a controversy spanning the last hundred years. Three principal forms for the momentum, in particular, have been identified for dispersive media. These are the Abraham, Minkowski and canonical momenta. We investigate whether any of these forms can be distinguished by considering pulses of light incident on materials with a negative refractive index and find that, for such materials, the canonical momentum has a qualitatively different behaviour to the other two.