Effective photons in weakly absorptive dielectric media and the Beer-Lambert-Bouguer law

A. C. Judge, J. S. Brownless, N. A. R. Bhat, J. E. Sipe, M. J. Steel, C. Martijn De Sterke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


We derive effective photon modes that facilitate an intuitive and convenient picture of photon dynamics in a structured Kramers-Kronig dielectric in the limit of weak absorption. Each mode is associated with a mode field distribution that includes the effects of both material and structural dispersion, and an effective line-width that determines the temporal decay rate of the photon. These results are then applied to obtain an expression for the Beer-Lambert-Bouguer law absorption coefficient for unidirectional propagation in structured media consisting of dispersive, weakly absorptive dielectric materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043028
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. First published in New J. Phys. 16, 043028. The original publication is available at http://www.doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/16/4/043028, published by IOP Publishing. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • quantum optics
  • beer law
  • dissipative systems


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