Methodological notes

On choosing the energy—momentum tensor in electrodynamics and on the Abraham force

Research and Design Institute of Radioelectronic Engineering, Branch of M.V. Protsenko Federal Research and Development Center Production Association &guot;Start&guot;, Mira str. 1/1, Zarechnyi, Penza region, 442965, Russian Federation

The well-debated problem of choosing the energy—momentum tensor in electrodynamics is examined. Electromagnetic forces in a continuum medium that follow from Minkowski's and Abraham's tensors are considered. It is shown that the conservation equations for both Minkovski's momentum density and for Abraham's impulse simultaneously follow from Minkowski's tensor and that they are the components of a composite electromagnetic pulse in the medium. It is shown that choosing canonical material equations reduces the Abraham force to zero. Considerations are presented which uniquely favor choosing the Minkowski tensor and show the incompleteness of the Abraham tensor.

Fulltext is available at IOP
Keywords: the electromagnetic force, tensor of energy--momentum, Minkowski tensor, Abraham tensor, Abraham force
PACS: 03.50.De, 41.20.Jb (all)
DOI: 10.3367/UFNe.2017.11.038255
Citation: Spirichev Yu A "On choosing the energy—momentum tensor in electrodynamics and on the Abraham force" Phys. Usp. 61 303–306 (2018)
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Received: 28th, January 2017, revised: 20th, November 2017, 29th, November 2017

Оригинал: Спиричев Ю А «О выборе тензора энергии-импульса в электродинамике и силе Абрагама» УФН 188 325–328 (2018); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.2017.11.038255

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