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Accueil du site > Publications > Publications 2009 > Thermal Casimir effect with soft boundary conditions

Thermal Casimir effect with soft boundary conditions

David S. Dean

par David Dean - 28 octobre 2008

We consider the thermal Casimir effect in systems of parallel plates coupled to a mass-less free field theory via quadratic interaction terms which suppress (i) the field on the plates (ii) the gradient of the field in the plane of the plates. These boundary interactions correspond to (i) the presence of an electrolyte in the plates and (ii) a uniform field of dipoles, in the plates, which are polarizable in the plane of the plates. These boundary interactions lead to Robin type boundary conditions in the case where there is no field outside the two plates. In the appropriate limit, in both cases Dirichlet boundary conditions are obtained but we show that in case (i) the Dirichlet limit breaks down at short inter-plate distances and in (ii) it breaks down at large distances. The behavior of the two plate system is also seen to be highly dependent on whether the system is open or closed. In addition we analyze the Casimir force on a third plate placed between two outer plates. The force acting on the central plate is shown to be highly sensitive to whether or not the fluctuating scalar field is present in the region exterior to the two confining plates.