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Casimir forces for inhomogeneous planar media

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Casimir forces arise from vacuum uctuations. They are fully understood only for
simple models, and are important in nano- and microtechnologies. We report our experience of computer algebra calculations towards the Casimir force for models involving inhomogeneous dielectrics. We describe a methodology that greatly increases condence in any results obtained, and use this methodology to demonstrate that the analytic derivation of scalar Green's functions is at the boundary of current computer algebra technology. We further demonstrate that Lifshitz theory of electromagnetic vacuum energy can not be directly applied to calculate the Casimir stress for models of this type, and produce results that have led to alternative regularisations. Using a combination of our new computational framework and the new theory based on our results, we provide specic calculations of Casimir forces for planar dielectrics having permittivity that declines exponentially. We discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of
computer algebra systems when applied to this type of problem, and describe a combined numerical and symbolic computational framework for calculating Casimir forces for arbitrary planar models.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2013

Publication series

NameJournal of Physics: Conference Series
PublisherIOP Publising
ISSN (Print)1742-6588
ISSN (Electronic)1742-6596

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