Consistency of certain constitutive relations with quantum electromagnetism
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
American Physical Society
Recent work by Philbin [ New J. Phys. 12 123008 (2010)] has provided a Lagrangian theory that establishes a general method for the canonical quantization of the electromagnetic field in any dispersive, lossy, linear dielectric. Working from this theory, we extend the Lagrangian description to reciprocal and nonreciprocal magnetoelectric (bianisotropic) media, showing that some versions of the constitutive relations are inconsistent with a real Lagrangian, and hence with quantization. This amounts to a restriction on the magnitude of the magnetoelectric coupling. Moreover, from the point of view of quantization, moving media are shown to be fundamentally different from stationary magnetoelectrics, despite the formal similarity in the constitutive relations.
Copyright © 2011 American Physical Society
Vol. 84 (6), article 063822