Fjolsvit

2013-03-15 19:37:02 UTC

Einstein attributed the idea that light has momentum to Maxwell. IIRC, Feynman gives an example of how radiation will push an electron in the direction of the wave. I will look for that when I get a chance.

Is there a decent online discussion of how radiation pressure can be derived from Maxwell's equations? The discussions I've found rely on the QM explanation.

I know it goes something like this. The electric field drives a charged particle in a direction perpendicular to the Poynting vector, and parallel to the electric field, The moving charged particle experiences a Lorentz force due to the magnetic field which is perpendicular to both the Poynting vector and the electric field.

The particle is therefore accelerated in the direction of the pointing vector. That's an heuristic explanation, but it isn't quantitative. It also assumes the Lorentz force law, which I don't believe Maxwell relied on.

Is there a decent online discussion of how radiation pressure can be derived from Maxwell's equations? The discussions I've found rely on the QM explanation.

I know it goes something like this. The electric field drives a charged particle in a direction perpendicular to the Poynting vector, and parallel to the electric field, The moving charged particle experiences a Lorentz force due to the magnetic field which is perpendicular to both the Poynting vector and the electric field.

The particle is therefore accelerated in the direction of the pointing vector. That's an heuristic explanation, but it isn't quantitative. It also assumes the Lorentz force law, which I don't believe Maxwell relied on.