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Electromagnetic Force and Momentum in Classical Macroscopic Dipolar Media

By Arthur D. Yaghjian
Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 103, 119-138, 2023


Using realistic classical models of microscopic electric-charge electric dipoles and electric-current (Amperian) magnetic dipoles, it is proven that the Einstein-Laub macroscopic electromagnetic force on a macroscopic-continuum volume of these classical dipoles equals the sum of the microscopic electromagnetic forces on the discrete classical dipoles in that volume. The internal (hidden) momentum of the discrete Amperian magnetic dipoles is rigorously derived and properly included in the determination of the macroscopic force from the spatial averaging of the microscopic forces. Consequently, the Abraham/Einstein-Laub rather than the Minkowski macroscopic electromagnetic-field momentum density gives the total microscopic electromagnetic-field momentum in that volume. The kinetic momentum is found for the volume of the macroscopic continuum from Newton's relativistic equation of motion. It is shown that the difference between the kinetic and canonical momenta in a volume of the macroscopic continuum is equal to the sum of the ``hidden electromagnetic momenta'' within the electric-current magnetic dipoles and within hypothetical magnetic-current electric dipoles replacing the electric-charge electric dipoles in the classical macroscopic continuum. To obtain the correct unambiguous value of the force on a volume inside the continuum from the force-momentum expression, it is mandatory that the surface of that volume be hypothetically separated from the rest of the continuum by a thin free-space shell. Two definitive experiments performed in the past with time varying fields and forces are shown to conclusively confirm the Einstein-Laub/Abraham formulation over the Minkowski formulation.


Arthur D. Yaghjian, "Electromagnetic Force and Momentum in Classical Macroscopic Dipolar Media," Progress In Electromagnetics Research B, Vol. 103, 119-138, 2023.


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