The role of angular momentum in the construction of electromagnetic multipolar fields

Nora Tischler*, Xavier Zambrana-Puyalto, Gabriel Molina-Terriza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Citations (Scopus)


Multipolar solutions of Maxwells equations are used in many practical applications and are essential for the understanding of light-matter interactions at the fundamental level. Unlike the set of plane wave solutions of electromagnetic fields, the multipolar solutions do not share a standard derivation or notation. As a result, expressions originating from different derivations can be difficult to compare. Some of the derivations of the multipolar solutions do not explicitly show their relation to the angular momentum operators, thus hiding important properties of these solutions. In this paper, the relation between two of the most common derivations of this set of solutions is explicitly shown and their relation to the angular momentum operators is exposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1109
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


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