An intrinsic approach to forces in magnetoelectric media

Tucker, Robin W. and Walton, Timothy orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5103-4591 (2009) An intrinsic approach to forces in magnetoelectric media. Il Nuovo Cimento C, 32 (1). pp. 205-229. ISSN 2037-4909

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This paper offers a conceptually straightforward method for the calculation of stresses in polarisable media based on the notion of a drive form and its property of being closed in spacetimes with symmetry. After an outline of the notation required to exploit the powerful exterior calculus of differential forms, a discussion of the relation between Killing isometries and conservation laws for smooth and distributional drive forms is given. Instantaneous forces on isolated spacetime domains and regions with interfaces are defined, based on manifestly covariant equations of motion. The remaining sections apply these notions to media that sustain electromagnetic stresses, with emphasis on homogeneous magnetoelectric material. An explicit calculation of the average pressure exerted by a monochromatic wave normally incident on a homogeneous, magnetoelectric slab in vacuo is presented and the concluding section summarizes how this pressure depends on the parameters in the magnetoelectric tensors for the medium.

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