Casimir effect as a test for thermal corrections and hypothetical long-range interactions

Published in:

International Journal of Modern Physics A 20,11 (2005) 2205-2221;


We have performed a precise experimental determination of the Casimir pressure between two gold-coated parallel plates by means of a micromachined oscillator. In contrast to all previous experiments on the Casimir effect, where a small relative error (varying from 1% to 15%) was achieved only at the shortest separation, our smallest experimental error (similar to 0.5%) is achieved over a wide separation range from 170 nm to 300 nm at 95% confidence. We have formulated a rigorous metrological procedure for the comparison of experiment and theory without resorting to the previously used root-mean-square deviation, which has been criticized in the literature. This enables us to discriminate among different competing theories of the thermal Casimir force, and to resolve a thermodynamic puzzle arising from the application of Lifshitz theory to real metals. Our results lead to a more rigorous approach for obtaining constraints on hypothetical long-range interactions predicted by extra-dimensional physics and other extensions of the Standard Model. In particular, the constraints on non-Newtonian gravity axe strengthened by up to a factor of 20 in a wide interaction range at 95% confidence.


casimir force;; lifshitz theory;; non-newtonian gravity;; inverse-square law;; extra dimensions;; mu-m;; force;; conductivity;; surfaces

Date of this Version

January 2005

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