A microscopic approach to Casimir and Casimir-Polder forces between metallic bodies

Roberto Passante, Pablo Barcellona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We consider the Casimir-Polder interaction energy between a metallic nanoparticle and a metallic plate, as well as the Casimir interaction energy between two macroscopic metal plates, in terms of the many-body dispersion interactions between their constituents. Expressions for two- and three-body dispersion interactions between the microscopic parts of a real metal are first obtained, both in the retarded and non-retarded limits. These expressions are then used to evaluate the overall two- and three-body contributions to the macroscopic Casimir-Polder and Casimir force, and to compare them with each other, for the two following geometries: metal nanoparticle/half-space and half-space/half-space, where all the materials are assumed perfect conductors. The above evaluation is obtained by summing up the contributions from the microscopic constituents of the bodies (metal nanoparticles). In the case of nanoparticle/half-space, our results fully agree with those that can be extracted from the corresponding macroscopic results, and explicitly show the non-applicability of the pairwise approximation for the geometry considered. In both cases, we find that, while the overall two-body contribution yields an attractive force, the overall three-body contribution is repulsive. Also, they turn out to be of the same order, consistently with the known non applicability of the pairwise approximation. The issue of the rapidity of convergence of the many-body expansion is also briefly discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-292
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Physics
Volume355
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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half spaces
nanoparticles
interactions
metals
metal plates
geometry
approximation
conductors
expansion
energy
evaluation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

A microscopic approach to Casimir and Casimir-Polder forces between metallic bodies. / Passante, Roberto; Barcellona, Pablo.

In: Annals of Physics, Vol. 355, 2015, p. 282-292.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - We consider the Casimir-Polder interaction energy between a metallic nanoparticle and a metallic plate, as well as the Casimir interaction energy between two macroscopic metal plates, in terms of the many-body dispersion interactions between their constituents. Expressions for two- and three-body dispersion interactions between the microscopic parts of a real metal are first obtained, both in the retarded and non-retarded limits. These expressions are then used to evaluate the overall two- and three-body contributions to the macroscopic Casimir-Polder and Casimir force, and to compare them with each other, for the two following geometries: metal nanoparticle/half-space and half-space/half-space, where all the materials are assumed perfect conductors. The above evaluation is obtained by summing up the contributions from the microscopic constituents of the bodies (metal nanoparticles). In the case of nanoparticle/half-space, our results fully agree with those that can be extracted from the corresponding macroscopic results, and explicitly show the non-applicability of the pairwise approximation for the geometry considered. In both cases, we find that, while the overall two-body contribution yields an attractive force, the overall three-body contribution is repulsive. Also, they turn out to be of the same order, consistently with the known non applicability of the pairwise approximation. The issue of the rapidity of convergence of the many-body expansion is also briefly discussed.

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