Thermal and dissipative effects in Casimir physics

M Brown-Hayes, J H Brownell, D A R Dalvit, W J Kim, A Lambrecht, F C Lombardo, F D Mazzitelli, S M Middleman, V V Nesvizhevsky, R Onofrio, S Reynaud
2006 Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and General  
We report on current efforts to detect the thermal and dissipative contributions to the Casimir force. For the thermal component, two experiments are in progress at Dartmouth and at the Institute Laue Langevin in Grenoble. The first experiment will seek to detect the Casimir force at the largest explorable distance using a cylinder-plane geometry which offers various advantages with respect to both sphere-plane and parallel-plane geometries. In the second experiment, the Casimir force in the
more » ... mir force in the parallel-plane configuration is measured with a dedicated torsional balance, up to 10 micrometers. Parallelism of large surfaces, critical in this configuration, is maintained through the use of inclinometer technology already implemented at Grenoble for the study of gravitationally bound states of ultracold neutrons, For the dissipative component of the Casimir force, we discuss detection techniques based upon the use of hyperfine spectroscopy of ultracold atoms and Rydberg atoms. Although quite challenging, this triad of experimental efforts, if successful, will give us a better knowledge of the interplay between quantum and thermal fluctuations of the electromagnetic field and of the nature of dissipation induced by the motion of objects in a quantum vacuum.
doi:10.1088/0305-4470/39/21/s10 fatcat:nwxw5pg5rbbr3enacy64ao7w5u