Classical and quantum theory of electromagnetism made simple: The Riemann-Silberstein vector

24 01/2014

Friday, 24 Jan. 2014, 10:00 - 12:00

Workgroup Zeilinger Group

Presenter: Iwo Bialynicki-Birula
Host: Anton Zeilinger
Where: Ernst Mach Hörsaal

In my lectures I will describe the salient properties of the classical and quantum electromagnetic field with the use of the complex combination of the electric and magnetic field: the Riemann-Silberstein vector. This formulation simplifies significantly various calculations and it also clarifies several fundamental issues. The lectures, in principle, will cover the material contained in our review paper [Journal of Physics A 46, 053001 (2013)]. However, the exposition will be far more pedagogical and some newer results will be included.

In the first part devoted to the classical theory I will concentrate on the those aspects that are usually not treated in the standard exposition (Whittaker construction of solutions of Maxwell equations, propagation of electromagnetic waves in the presence of the gravitational field, knotted light fields).

In the second part devoted to the quantum theory I will start from the nonstandard approach to quantization and then continue with the photon wave function and the uncertainty relations for photons.