Thread: Light momentum
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May16-11, 05:02 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 7,659
I've found a number of interesting-sounding papers on the topic of the momentum of light in a refractive medium. Frustratingly, I can't access them in their entirety. Amongst what I found are:

"The momentum of light in a refractive medium" , Peierls, two papers

Also, a more recent (and a article citing it that was .... not very well written.)

Peierls makes the interesting observation that it's not only light that caries the momentum when an electromagnetic wave travels through a medium - motion of the atoms in the medium (or of the medium itself in the continuum approximation) are also generated, in particular acoustic waves (which I assume could also considered to be phonons).

It'd be nice to see a full treatment of the problem that was accessible.

[add] also looks interesting.