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Journal Articles Universe Year : 2021

Unifying Theory for Casimir Forces: Bulk and Surface Formulations


The principles of the electromagnetic fluctuation-induced phenomena such as Casimir forces are well understood. However, recent experimental advances require universal and efficient methods to compute these forces. While several approaches have been proposed in the literature, their connection is often not entirely clear, and some of them have been introduced as purely numerical techniques. Here we present a unifying approach for the Casimir force and free energy that builds on both the Maxwell stress tensor and path integral quantization. The result is presented in terms of either bulk or surface operators that describe corresponding current fluctuations. Our surface approach yields a novel formula for the Casimir free energy. The path integral is presented both within a Lagrange and Hamiltonian formulation yielding different surface operators and expressions for the free energy that are equivalent. We compare our approaches to previously developed numerical methods and the scattering approach. The practical application of our methods is exemplified by the derivation of the Lifshitz formula.

Dates and versions

hal-03314716 , version 1 (05-08-2021)



Giuseppe Bimonte, Thorsten Emig. Unifying Theory for Casimir Forces: Bulk and Surface Formulations. Universe, 2021, 7 (7), pp.225. ⟨10.3390/universe7070225⟩. ⟨hal-03314716⟩
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