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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Dec 12;101(24):243601. Epub 2008 Dec 8.

Observation of a push force on the end face of a nanometer silica filament exerted by outgoing light.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China. shewl@mail.sysu.edu.cn

Abstract

There are two different proposals for the momentum of light in a transparent dielectric of refractive index n: Minkowski's version nE/c and Abraham's version E/(nc), where E and c are the energy and vacuum speed of light, respectively. Despite many tests and debates over nearly a century, momentum of light in a transparent dielectric remains controversial. In this Letter, we report a direct observation of the inward push force on the free end face of a nanometer silica filament exerted by the outgoing light. Our results suggest that Abraham's momentum is correct.

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PMID:
19113619
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