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Optical Thomas-Reiche-Kuhn sum rules

Barnett, Stephen M. and Loudon, Rodney (2012) Optical Thomas-Reiche-Kuhn sum rules. Physical Review Letters, 108 (1). ISSN 0031-9007

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Abstract

The Thomas-Reiche-Kuhn sum rule is a fundamental consequence of the position-momentum commutation relation for an atomic electron and it provides an important constraint on the transition matrix elements for an atom. Analogously, the commutation relations for the electromagnetic field operators in a magnetodielectric medium constrain the properties of the dispersion relations for the medium through four sum rules for the allowed phase and group velocities for polaritons propagating through the medium. These rules apply to all bulk media including the metamaterials designed to provide negative refractive indices. An immediate consequence of this is that it is not possible to construct a medium in which all the polariton modes for a given wavelength lie in the negative-index region.