Published in:

Journal of Physics a-Mathematical and General 39,21 (2006) 6589-6600;


It is well known that, beginning in 2000, the behaviour of the thermal correction to the Casimir force between real metals has been hotly debated. As was shown by several research groups, the Lifshitz theory, which provides the theoretical foundation for the calculation of both the van der Waals and Casimir forces, leads to different results depending on the model of metal conductivity used. To resolve these controversies, theoretical considerations based on the principles of thermodynamics and new experimental tests were invoked. We analyse the present status of the problem (in particular, the advantages and disadvantages of the approaches based on the surface impedance and on the Drude model dielectric function) using rigorous analytical calculations of the entropy of a fluctuating field. We also discuss the results of a new precise experiment on the determination of the Casimir pressure between two parallel plates by means of a micromechanical torsional oscillator.


long-range interactions;; mu-m range;; temperature;; plates

Date of this Version

January 2006



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