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Mansuripur's Confusion-a-dox

  1. Apr 12, 2014 #1


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    This came up while I was trying to research the interaction of an electromagnetic plane wave with a dielectric slab, though the issues appear to be more fundamental.

    The first confusion: An EE"s claim that there is "trouble with the Lorentz law of Force", published in physics review letters.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1211.3485 (not PRL, but an EE journal)

    I don't believe this. (But it's published in genuine peer-reviewed print).

    The second confusion: A rebuttal by Griffiths, which however relies heavily on "hidden momentum"


    I would have believed this, but.....

    The third confusion: A paper by Franklin that debunks hidden momentum (mentioned in another thread).


    I haven't studied this enough to have a personal opinion yet, but it's a bit dissapointing that there's so much confusion on such basic issues in the literature!

    Also, I don't know what papers to recommend to students at this point regarding the Lorentz force law issue, nor the starting questing about the interaction of a plane wave with a dielectric slab. (for example, Mansuripur's http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.7057 published in Optics Express, which I'm not familiar with).
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 12, 2014 #2

    Meir Achuz

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    Those papers are too contradictory for students at the present stage. Everything that Mansuripur writes is wrong, and there is no hidden momentum.
  4. Apr 12, 2014 #3
    Well, I think, we have an actual problem with classical electrodynamics description and classical mechanics when discussing setup's involving point charge and changing magnetic field source(or the other way around), and in order to solve the problem by the means of inventions, we first got the static EM momentum(undetectable), but then we soon realized that momentum must be paired to respect conservation theorems, therefore, the hidden momentum(this time mechanical and undetectable).

    But it is apparent that, the NO back reaction force term in Maxwell's Equations on the magnetic field source, is the actual source of problem, since it makes us to attach the other part of momentum to non-moving things.
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