Electromagnetic momentum and the energy–momentum tensor in a linear medium with magnetic and dielectric properties

Michael E. Crenshaw
2014 Journal of Mathematical Physics  
In a continuum setting, the energy-momentum tensor embodies the relations between conservation of energy, conservation of linear momentum, and conservation of angular momentum. The well-defined total energy and the well-defined total momentum in a thermodynamically closed system with complete equations of motion are used to construct the total energy-momentum tensor for a stationary simple linear material with both magnetic and dielectric properties illuminated by a quasimonochromatic pulse of
more » ... ight through a gradient-index antireflection coating. The perplexing issues surrounding the Abraham and Minkowski momentums are bypassed by working entirely with conservation principles, the total energy, and the total momentum. We derive electromagnetic continuity equations and equations of motion for the macroscopic fields based on the material four-divergence of the traceless, symmetric total energy-momentum tensor. We identify contradictions between the macroscopic Maxwell equations and the continuum form of the conservation principles. We resolve the contradictions, which are the actual fundamental issues underlying the Abraham-Minkowski controversy, by constructing a unified version of continuum electrodynamics that is based on establishing consistency between the three-dimensional Maxwell equations for macroscopic fields, the electromagnetic continuity equations, the four-divergence of the total energy-momentum tensor, and a four-dimensional tensor formulation of electrodynamics for macroscopic fields in a simple linear medium.
doi:10.1063/1.4869746 fatcat:uuiqcnprtzdnlcv6a3egwfxjiy