## Abstract

This paper systematically develops the Schrödinger formalism that is valid also for gyrotropic media where the material weights W=εχχ^{∗}μ≠W¯are complex. This is a non-trivial extension of the Schrödinger formalism for non- gyrotropic media (where W=W¯) that has been known since at least the 1960s (Wilcox, 1966; Kato, 1967). Here, Maxwell's equations are rewritten in the form i∂_{t}Ψ=MΨ where the selfadjoint (hermitian) Maxwell operator M=W^{−1}Rot|_{ω≥0}=M^{∗} takes the place of the Hamiltonian and Ψ is a complex wave representing the physical field (E,H)=2ReΨ. Writing Maxwell's equations in Schrödinger form gives us access to the rich toolbox of techniques initially developed for quantum mechanics and allows us to apply them to classical waves. To show its utility, we explain how to identify conserved quantities in this formalism. Moreover, we sketch how to extend our ideas to other classical waves.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 579-617 |

Number of pages | 39 |

Journal | Annals of Physics |

Volume | 396 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 2018 Sep |

## Keywords

- Maxwell equations
- Maxwell operator
- Quantum-wave analogies
- Schrödinger equation

## ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Physics and Astronomy(all)