Recollections of electromagnetism

The bases of electromagnetic radiation
  • Giovanni GiusfrediEmail author
Part of the UNITEXT for Physics book series (UNITEXTPH)


The starting point of this text is given by the equations of electromagnetism, which are assumed to be a postulate on which to develop the whole of Optical Physics. In this chapter, we will start by addressing the microscopic equations for the fields and for the matter, in which all of the elementary charge and current densities must be made explicit, and the relativistic formulation of these equations. Then, we will move on to the macroscopic equations, in which the properties of the material media are collected in suitable auxiliary vectors by means of an operation of averaging over small distances compared to the wavelength, but large relative to atomic dimensions. This step is crucial for understanding the concepts of index of refraction and dispersion.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European Laboratory for Non-Linear Spectroscopy (LENS)Istituto Nazionale di Ottica—Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (INO-CNR)Sesto FiorentinoItaly

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