Abstract

We derive the macroscopic electromagnetic-field and medium operators for a linear dispersive medium with a microscopic model. As an alternative to the previous treatments in the literature, we show that the canonical momentum for the macroscopic field can be chosen to be −0Ê instead of Dˆ with the standard minimal-coupling Hamiltonian. We find that, despite the change in the field operator normalization constants, the equal-time commutators among the macroscopic electric-field, magnetic-field, and medium operators have the same values as their microscopic counterparts under a coarse-grained approximation. This preservation of the equal-time commutator is important from a fundamental standpoint, such as the preservation of micro-causality for macroscopic quantities. The existence of more than one normal frequency mode at each k vector in a realistic causal-response medium is shown to be responsible for the commutator preservation. The process of macroscopic averaging is discussed in our derivation. The macroscopic field operators we derive are valid for a wide range of frequencies below, above, and around resonances. Our derivation covers the lossless, slightly lossy, and dispersionless as well as dispersive regimes of the medium. The local-field correction is also included in the formalism by inclusion of dipole–dipole interactions. Comparisons are made with other derivations of the macroscopic field operators. Using our theory, we discuss the questions of field propagation across a dielectric boundary and the decay rate of an atom embedded in a dielectric medium. We also discuss the question of squeezing in a linear dielectric medium and the extension of our theory to the case of a nonuniform medium.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article
OSA Recommended Articles
Three-dimensional quantum-optical input–output relations for arbitrary planar dielectrics

Salvatore Savasta, Omar Di Stefano, and Raffaello Girlanda
J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 19(2) 304-311 (2002)

Fully quantized theory of four-wave mixing with bosonic matter waves

Ying Wu and Xiaoxue Yang
Opt. Lett. 30(3) 311-313 (2005)

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (7)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (182)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription