Energy, linear momentum, and angular momentum exchange between an electromagnetic wave-packet and a small particle

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Invoking Maxwell's classical electrodynamics in conjunction with expressions for the electromagnetic (EM) energy, momentum, force, and torque, we use a few simple examples to demonstrate the nature of linear and angular momentum exchange between a wave-packet and a small spherical particle. The linear and angular momenta of the EM field, when absorbed by the particle, will be seen to elicit different responses from the particle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012503
JournalJournal of Nanophotonics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • electromagnetic momentum
  • electromagnetic radiation
  • light-matter interaction
  • optical angular momentum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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