Precision measurement of the Casimir-Lifshitz force in a fluid


J. N. Munday and Federico Capasso. 2007. “Precision measurement of the Casimir-Lifshitz force in a fluid.” PHYSICAL REVIEW A, 75, 6. Publisher's Version
physreva.75.060102.pdf162 KB


The Casimir force, which results from the confinement of the quantum-mechanical zero-point fluctuations of electromagnetic fields, has received significant attention in recent years for its effect on micro- and nanoscale mechanical systems. With few exceptions, experimental observations have been limited to interacting conductive bodies separated by vacuum or air. However, interesting phenomena, including repulsive forces, are expected to exist in certain circumstances between metals and dielectrics when the intervening medium is not vacuum. In order to better understand the effect of the Casimir force in such situations and to test the robustness of the generalized Casimir-Lifshitz theory, we have performed precision measurements of the Casimir force between two metals immersed in a fluid. For this situation, the measured force is attractive and is approximately 80% smaller than the force predicted by Casimir for ideal metals in vacuum. We present experimental results and find them to be consistent with Lifshitz's theory.
Last updated on 05/23/2020