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Chapter 1:
Separating Field and Constitutive Equations in Electromagnetic Theory
Editor(s): Werner S. Weiglhofer; Akhlesh Lakhtakia
Author(s): Post, Evert J.
This essay is an outline of techniques to separate out constitutive functions in order to isolate the purest field law statement that is independent of constitutive specifics. A reorganization of this kind is a near-necessity when dealing with complex electromagnetic mediums. If so desired, it creates the possibility of simultaneously and coherently treating anisotropy, the Fresnel—Fizeau effect, the Sagnac effect, natural optical rotation and Faraday rotation. Aside from these applied aspects, the efforts required to proceed in orderly fashion open up worthwhile perspectives and insights from a purely theoretical angle. The tool of general covariant description is found to have a perceptive potential that goes way beyond the SR(3) group.
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