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Essential Quantum Optics by Ulf Leonhardt

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Appendix A

Stress of the quantum vacuum

Casimir’s 1948 calculation (Casimir, 1948) of the vacuum force between two dielectric bodies is restricted to an idealized situation: two infinitely conducting parallel plates of infinite extension. Real dielectrics are neither infinitely conducting nor infinitely extended though. Moreover, in most experimental tests of the Casimir effect (Lamoreaux, 1997, 1999; Bordag et al., 2001; Lamoreaux, 2005; Munday et al., 2009) the force between a plate and a sphere was measured, because it is very difficult in practice to keep microscopic plates exactly parallel, a problem avoided by using a sphere above a plate instead. The most comprehensive general theory of the Casimir effect is known as Lifshitz theory (Landau ...

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