The basic question is "why light travels at slower speed in a medium?" I mean what's the full second quantization quantum mechanical explanation of the phenomenon? I'm looking for the explicit calculations on this, not only the "by words" explanation. I'm interested on visible light, so eV energy scale.
I've often heard that "the photon receives an effective mass" and "Maxwell equation modifies in the medium" and I indeed agree with theese kind of explanation, but the single little "simple" building blocks of the phenomenon remains obsure in my opinion. How we pass from the single photon view to a medium exitation? What's the basic QED phenomenon? Compton scatter? By who?
The effective mass raises more questions than answers: How the transition is made? Do we use Proca's equation inside the medium? In this case should be the longitudinal polarization of the quasiparticle, right?
I have also some related questions, in random order:
- Does exist "simple" solvable models? maybe for diluite gas, perfect cubic lattice solid or something else
- What phenomenology does them reproduce? on which hypothesis?
- Does it depend on a thermodynamic limit of the medium (gas, liquid, solid)?
- Fixing enviromental conditions (temperature, pressure etc.), does single photons interact always in the same way, if not absorbed or diffused? If not, why? and how much?
- Does exists books or ref on such argument?