Oblique superposition of two elliptically polarized lightwaves using geometric algebra: Is energy-momentum conserved?

Michelle Wynne C. Sze, Quirino Jr Mallorca Sugon, Daniel J. McNamara

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In this paper, we use Clifford (geometric) algebra Cl3,0 to verify if electromagnetic energy-momentum density is still conserved for oblique superposition of two elliptically polarized plane waves with the same frequency. We show that energy-momentum conservation is valid at any time only for the superposition of two counterpropagating elliptically polarized plane waves. We show that the time-average energy-momentum of the superposition of two circularly polarized waves with opposite handedness is conserved regardless of the propagation directions of the waves. And, we show that the resulting momentum density of the superposed waves generally has a vector component perpendicular to the momentum densities of the individual waves.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2468-2479
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
    Volume27
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2010

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
    • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition

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