Using the Lorentz force law, we derived simpler expressions for the total longitudinal (conserved) momentum and the mechanical momentums associated with an optical pulse propagating along a dispersive optical waveguide. These expressions can be applied to an arbitrary non-absorptive optical waveguide having continuous translational symmetry. Our simulation using finite difference time domain (FDTD) method verified that the total momentum formula is valid in a two-dimensional infinite waveguide. We studied the conservation of the total momentum and the transfer of the momentum to the waveguide for the case when an optical pulse travels from a finite waveguide to vacuum. We found that neither the Abraham nor the Minkowski momentum expression for an electromagnetic wave in a waveguide represents the complete total (conserved) momentum. Only the total momentum as we derived for a mode propagating in a dispersive optical waveguides is the ‘true’ conserved momentum. This total momentum can be expressed as PTot = –UDie/vg + neff U/c. It has three contributions: (1) the Abraham momentum; (2) the momentum from the Abraham force, which equals to the difference between the Abraham momentum and the Minkowski momentum; and (3) the momentum from the dipole force which can be expressed as –UDie/vg. The last two contributions constitute the mechanical momentum. Compared with FDTD-Lorentz-force method, the presently derived total momentum formula provides a better method in terms of analyzing the permanent transfer of optical momentum to a waveguide.
©2011 Optical Society of America
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