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- atom-surface interaction (1)
- non-equilibrium (1)
- quantum friction (1)

The aim of this paper is to revisit the calculation of atom-surface quantum friction in the quantum field theory formulation put forward by Barton (2010 New J. Phys. 12 113045). We show that the power dissipated into field excitations and the associated friction force depend on how the atom is boosted from being initially at rest to a configuration in which it is moving at constant velocity (nu) parallel to the planar interface. In addition, we point out that there is a subtle cancellation between the one-photon and part of the two-photon dissipating power, resulting in a leading order contribution to the frictional power which goes as nu(4). These results are also confirmed by an alternative calculation of the average radiation force, which scales as nu(3).

In this paper we study the role of surface plasmon modes in the Casimir effect. The Casimir energy can be written as a sum over the modes of a real cavity and one may identify two sorts of modes, two evanescent surface plasmon modes and propagative modes. As one of the surface plasmon modes becomes propagative for some choice of parameters we adopt an adiabatic mode definition where we follow this mode into the propagative sector and count it together with the surface plasmon contribution, calling this contribution ``plasmonic''. We evaluate analytically the contribution of the plasmonic modes to the Casimir energy. Surprisingly we find that this becomes repulsive for intermediate and large mirror separations. The contribution of surface plasmons to the Casimir energy plays a fundamental role not only at short but also at large distances. This suggests possibilities to taylor the Casimir force via a manipulation of the surface plasmon properties.

We study the quantum and thermal fluctuations of eddy (Foucault) currents in thick metallic plates. A Casimir interaction between two plates arises from the coupling via quasistatic magnetic fields. As a function of distance, the relevant eddy current modes cross over from a quantum to a thermal regime. These modes alone reproduce previously discussed thermal anomalies of the electromagnetic Casimir interaction between good conductors. In particular, they provide a physical picture for the Casimir entropy whose nonzero value at zero temperature arises from a correlated, glassy state.

We present an efficient expression for the analytic continuation to arbitrary complex frequencies of the complex optical and ac conductivity of a homogeneous superconductor with an arbitrary mean free path. Knowledge of this quantity is fundamental in the calculation of thermodynamic potentials and dispersion energies involving type-I superconducting bodies. When considered for imaginary frequencies, our formula evaluates faster than previous schemes involving Kramers-Kronig transforms. A number of applications illustrate its efficiency: a simplified low-frequency expansion of the conductivity, the electromagnetic bulk self-energy due to longitudinal plasma oscillations, and the Casimir free energy of a superconducting cavity.

We investigate the role of surface plasmons in the electromagnetic Casimir effect at finite temperature, including situations out of global thermal equilibrium. The free energy is calculated analytically and expanded for different regimes of distances and temperatures. Similar to the zero-temperature case, the interaction changes from attraction to repulsion with distance. Thermal effects are shown to be negligible for small plate separations and at room temperature but become dominant and repulsive at large values of these parameters. In configurations out of global thermal equilibrium, we show that the selective excitation of surface plasmons can create a repulsive Casimir force between metal plates.

Mode structure and polaritonic contributions to the Casimir effect in a magnetodielectric cavity
(2013)

We present a full analysis of the mode spectrum in a cavity formed by two parallel plates, one of which is magnetodielectric (metamaterial) while the other one is metallic, and obtain dispersion relations in closed form. The optical properties of the cavity walls are described in terms of realistic models for effective permittivity and permeability. Surface polaritons, i.e., electromagnetic modes that have at least partly an evanescent character, are shown to dominate the Casimir interaction at small separations. We analyze in detail the s-polarized polaritons, which are a characteristic feature of a magnetodielectric configuration, and discuss their role in the repulsive Casimir force.