"Linking the momentum of the electromagnetic field to the associated photons"
, in European Journal of Physics, Vol. 34, Nummer 6, Institute of Physics Publishing, Seite(n) 1575, 2013
Linking the momentum of the electromagnetic field to the associated photons
Sprache des Titels:
Considering the total force on matter in a dynamic electromagnetic field yields that, in contrast to the static case, the rate of change of mechanical momentum is not directly related to the integration of the Maxwell stress tensor but an additional term occurs, which can be interpreted as the rate of change of 'electromagnetic momentum'. For beginners, the latter concept is hard to grasp in terms of a field theory. However, the electromagnetic momentum can readily be interpreted as the momentum of the photons associated with the electromagnetic field as presented in this paper. Even though the notion of photons is not required or included in Maxwellian electrodynamics, this relation may help students to get a better grip on the interpretation of momentum conservation in electrodynamics.