Effect of Curvature and Confinement on the Casimir-Polder Interaction

Pablo Rodriguez-Lopez 1 Thorsten Emig 1 Ehsan Noruzifar 2 Roya Zandi 3

Physical Review A, American Physical Society, 2015, pp.012516

Modifications of Casimir-Polder interactions due to confinement inside a cylindrical cavity and due to curvature in- and outside the cavity are studied. We consider a perfectly conducting cylindrical shell with a single particle (atom or macroscopic sphere) located next to its interior or exterior surface, or two atoms placed inside the shell. By employing the scattering approach, we obtain the particle-cavity interaction and the modification of the two-particle interaction due to the cavity. We consider both retardation and thermal effects. While for the atoms a dipole description is sufficient, for the macroscopic sphere we sum (numerically) over many multipole fluctuations to compute the interaction at short separations. In the latter limit we compare to the proximity approximation and a gradient expansion and find agreement. Our results indicate an confinement induced suppression of the force between atoms. General criteria for suppression and enhancement of Casimir interactions due to confinement are discussed.

  • 1. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques
  • 2. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • 3. Department of Physics and Astronomy