TY - JOUR

T1 - Optical-approximation analysis of sidewall-spacing effects on the force between two squares with parallel sidewalls

AU - Zaheer, Saad

AU - Rodriguez, Alejandro W.

AU - Johnson, Steven G.

AU - Jaffe, Robert L.

PY - 2007/12/20

Y1 - 2007/12/20

N2 - Using the ray-optics approximation, we analyze the Casimir force in a two-dimensional domain formed by two metallic blocks adjacent to parallel metallic sidewalls, which are separated from the blocks by a finite distance h. For h>0, the ray-optics approach is not exact because diffraction effects are neglected. Nevertheless, we show that ray optics is able to qualitatively reproduce a surprising effect recently identified in an exact numerical calculation: the force between the blocks varies nonmonotonically with h. In this sense, the ray-optics approach captures an essential part of the physics of multibody interactions in this system, unlike simpler pairwise-interaction approximations such as proximity force approximations (PFA). Furthermore, by comparison to the exact numerical results, we are able to quantify the impact of diffraction on Casimir forces in this geometry.

AB - Using the ray-optics approximation, we analyze the Casimir force in a two-dimensional domain formed by two metallic blocks adjacent to parallel metallic sidewalls, which are separated from the blocks by a finite distance h. For h>0, the ray-optics approach is not exact because diffraction effects are neglected. Nevertheless, we show that ray optics is able to qualitatively reproduce a surprising effect recently identified in an exact numerical calculation: the force between the blocks varies nonmonotonically with h. In this sense, the ray-optics approach captures an essential part of the physics of multibody interactions in this system, unlike simpler pairwise-interaction approximations such as proximity force approximations (PFA). Furthermore, by comparison to the exact numerical results, we are able to quantify the impact of diffraction on Casimir forces in this geometry.

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U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevA.76.063816

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevA.76.063816

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:37549024555

SN - 1050-2947

VL - 76

JO - Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

JF - Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

IS - 6

M1 - 063816

ER -