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We develop in this paper a theoretical approach to describe the electrodynamics of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). A lattice dynamics formalism is employed to model the mechanical response of matter to the radiation field. We start first by deriving the normal modes of the free lattice. Then, a simple and general microscopic model for light-matter interaction is proposed and the resulting mechanical equation of motion is derived using a suitable Lagrangian formalism. The symmetry group of the CNT isdoi:10.2528/pierb08082301 fatcat:2zyvpdgw5ndwffckyirnhxts6a