Within the following problems we will discuss different models to understand the interaction of light with matter. The acquired knowledge will help us to derive fundamental electrodynamic effects and deduce the electrodynamic properties of materials, for example their dispersion relation. The problems shall provide a connection to following courses on theoretical optics.
The Drude model explains the electrodynamic properties of metals. The simple approach is to regard the conduction band electrons as non-interacting electron gas and yields a fairly accurate description of metals like silver, gold or aluminium.
In The Dispersion Relation of a Magnetized Plasma we found that a magnetic field alters the dispersion relation differently for left and right polarized light passing through a plasma. But what about a linear polarized wave? The emerging effect is termed the "Faraday Rotation" and has numerous applications. Find out what we can learn about the cosmos and graphene using this effect.