Article

The Casimir effect: some aspects

Brazilian Journal of Physics (Impact Factor: 0.6). 01/2007; DOI: 10.1590/S0103-97332006000700006
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT We start this paper with a historical survey of the Casimir effect, showing that its origin is related to experiments on colloidal chemistry. We present two methods of computing Casimir forces, namely: the global method introduced by Casimir, based on the idea of zero-point energy of the quantum electromagnetic field, and a local one, which requires the computation of the energy-momentum stress tensor of the corresponding field. As explicit examples, we calculate the (standard) Casimir forces between two parallel and perfectly conducting plates and discuss the more involved problem of a scalar field submitted to Robin boundary conditions at two parallel plates. A few comments are made about recent experiments that undoubtedly confirm the existence of this effect. Finally, we briefly discuss a few topics which are either elaborations of the Casimir effect or topics that are related in some way to this effect as, for example, the influence of a magnetic field on the Casimir effect of charged fields, magnetic properties of a confined vacuum and radiation reaction forces on non-relativistic moving boundaries.

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