JMP  Vol.7 No.3 , February 2016
A Comparison between Abraham and Minkowski Momenta
Author(s) Massimo Testa*
ABSTRACT
In this paper I compare the Abraham and the Minkowski forms for the momentum pertaining to an electromagnetic wave inside a dielectric or a magnetic material. The discussion is based on a careful treatment of the surface charges and currents and of the forces acting on them. While in the dielectric case the Abraham momentum is certainly more appealing from the physical point of view, for a magnetic material it suggests an interpretation in terms of magnetic charges and related magnetic currents. The Minkowski momentum for magnetic non conducting materials, on the contrary, has a natural interpretation in terms of an amperian model, in which the dynamics is determined by the Lorentz force acting on bulk and surface electric currents.
Cite this paper
Testa, M. (2016) A Comparison between Abraham and Minkowski Momenta. Journal of Modern Physics, 7, 320-328. doi: 10.4236/jmp.2016.73032.
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