Wednesday, July 3, 2013

1307.0130 (Mario G. Silveirinha)

Quantization of the Electromagnetic Field in Non-dispersive Polarizable
Moving Media above the Cherenkov Threshold

Mario G. Silveirinha
We quantize the electromagnetic field in a system of polarizable non-dispersive moving bodies allowing for velocities above the Cherenkov threshold. The quantized Hamiltonian is written in terms of quantum harmonic oscillators associated with both positive and negative frequencies, and such that oscillators associated with symmetric frequencies can be coupled by an interaction term that does not preserve the quantum occupation numbers. We prove that in general the quantized system is unstable and neither has a ground state nor supports stationary states. Moreover, in the linear regime the amplitudes of the fields may grow without limit due to the continuous exchange of energy and wave momentum by the interacting moving bodies. We argue that this effect can take place as long as the velocity of the moving bodies is kept constant, if necessary through the application of an external mechanical force.
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