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Publication Citation: Revisiting the Balazs thought experiment in the case of a left-handed material: electromagnetic-pulse-induced displacement of a dispersive, dissipative negative-index slab

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Author(s): Henri J. Lezec; Kenneth J. Chau;
Title: Revisiting the Balazs thought experiment in the case of a left-handed material: electromagnetic-pulse-induced displacement of a dispersive, dissipative negative-index slab
Published: March 23, 2013
Abstract: We propose a set of postulates to describe the mechanical interaction between a plane-wave elec- tromagnetic pulse and a dispersive, dissipative slab having a refractive index of arbitrary sign. The postulates include the Abraham electromagnetic momentum density, a generalized Lorentz force law, and a model for absorption in which mass is transferred from the pulse to the medium. These opto-mechanical mechanisms are incorporated into one-dimensional finite-difference time-domain algorithm solving Maxwell's Equations. Calculated values of the instantaneous force densities exerted by the pulse onto the slab, the momentum-per-unit-area of the pulse and slab, and the trajectories of the slab and system center-of-mass are consistent with conservation of global energy, momentum, and center-of-mass velocity at all times, regardless of the presence of dispersion and dissipation, or of the sign of the real part of the refractive index of the slab material.
Citation: Optics Express
Volume: 20
Issue: 9
Pages: pp. 10138 - 10162
Keywords: electromagnetics; optomechanics; dissipation; left-handed material
Research Areas: Optics
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.20.010138  (Note: May link to a non-U.S. Government webpage)
PDF version: PDF Document Click here to retrieve PDF version of paper (2MB)