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Electromagnetic Fields in Moving and Inhomogeneous Media

by Piwnicki, Paul

Abstract (Summary)
The present thesis deals with electromagnetic effectscreated by the motion or inhomogeneity of a dielectricmedium.In the first paper the quantum R\"ontgen effect isdiscussed. Here a rotating Bose-Einstein condensate -- oranother kind of quantum fluid -- is placed in a chargedcapacitor. The medium's rotation creates a magnetic field.Quantum media can only rotate in form of vortices, which leadsto a magnetic field corresponding to the field of a magneticmonopole. In the remaining part of the thesis the geometricalrepresentation of electromagnetic fields in moving andinhomogeneous media is discussed. It is shown that aninhomogeneously moving dielectric, e.g., a vortex, defines aspace-time metric and light rays follow null-geodesics definedby this metric. This means that light propagation in a movingmedium is analogous to light propagation in a gravitationalfield. The possibility of creating laboratory models ofastronomical objects, e.g., black holes is discussed. Theapplicability of the newly developed media with extremely lowgroup velocity for the actual creation of such an experiment isconsidered. Furthermore, a model for the case of the slowlymoving medium is discussed. Here the light propagation isanalogous to the motion of a charged particle propagatingthrough a magnetic field. The velocity of the flow correspondsto the vector potential. Consequently, light propagation in avortex corresponds to the Aharonov-Bohm effect. Finally, acomplete geometrical description of light in an inhomogeneousdielectric at rest is presented. It is shown that lighttrajectories are geodesics of a three-dimensional metricdefined by the medium. Here even the propagation of the fieldsis discussed in the language of differential geometry and it isshown that the field vectors are parallel transported along therays. These considerations can be generalized to thefour-dimensional case where the field-strength tensor isparallel transported along the ray. This emphasizes thefar-reaching analogy between light in moving media and light ingravitational fields.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:Moving Media; Light; Genaral Relativity

ISBN:91-7283-219-3

Date of Publication:01/01/2001

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