Small Molecules in Electric and Optical Fields

  • A. D. Buckingham
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSB, volume 64)


The optical properties of matter arise from the oscillations in the charge and current distributions induced by the incident electromagnetic field. For most purposes, the oscillations may be represented by the time-dependent electric dipole moment \(\overset{\to }{\mathop{u}}\,\)(t) which arises from the linear polarization induced by the electric field \(\overset{\to }{\mathop{E}}\,\)(t) of the light wave. The relationship between the vectors \(\overset{\to }{\mathop{u}}\,\)(t) and \(\overset{\to }{\mathop{E}}\,\)(t) may be written:
$${{\mu }_{\alpha }}(t)=\sum\limits_{\beta =x,y,z}{{{\overset{\sim }{\mathop{\alpha }}\,}_{\alpha \beta }}{{E}_{\beta }}(t)\equiv {{\overset{\sim }{\mathop{\alpha }}\,}_{\alpha \beta }}{{E}_{\beta }}(t)}$$
where the polarzability \({{\overset{\sim }{\mathop{\alpha }}\,}_{\alpha \beta }}\) relates the α-component of \(\overset{\to }{\mathop{u}}\,\)(t) to the β-component of \(\overset{\to }{\mathop{E}}\,\)(t), and the subscripts α and β may represent any of the cartesian axes x,y,z. The polarizability \({{\overset{\sim }{\mathop{\alpha }}\,}_{\alpha \beta }}\) is a function of the frequency of the field and is complex at absorption frequencies, the real part giving the refractive index and the imaginary part the absorption.


Kerr Effect Chiral Molecule Faraday Effect Dipolar Molecule Magnetostatic Field 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D. Buckingham
    • 1
  1. 1.University Chemical LaboratoryCambridgeUK

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