A Generalized Extinction Theorem and Its Role in Scattering Theory

  • Emil Wolf


When an electromagnetic wave is incident on a homogeneous medium with a sharp boundary, it is extinguished inside the medium in the process of interaction and is replaced by a wave propagated in the medium with a velocity different from that of the incident wave. A classic theorem of molecular optics due to P.P. Ewald (1912) and C.W. Oseen (1915) expresses the extinction of the incident wave in terms of an integral relation, that involves the induced field on the boundary of the medium. Various generalizations of this theorem have recently been proposed and it was also shown that the customary physical interpretation of the theorem is incorrect.


Sharp Boundary Schrodinger Equation Incident Field True Meaning Incident Electric Field 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emil Wolf
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RochesterRochesterUSA

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