Radiation pressure and the linear momentum of the electromagnetic field

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168 Scopus citations


The force of the electromagnetic radiation on material objects by a direct application of the Lorentz law of classical electrodynamics was derived. The derivation is straightforward in the case of solid metals and solid dielectrics. For metallic mirrors, the contribution to the radiation pressure of the electrical charge density was separated from that of the current density of the conduction electrons. In the case of dielectric media, the forces experienced by bound charges and currents were examined, and the contribution of each of the radiation pressure was determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5375-5401
Number of pages27
JournalOptics Express
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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