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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Measurement of the Casimir Effect in the Cylinder-Sphere Geometry

  • Author(s): Schafer, Robert H
  • Advisor(s): Mohideen, Umar
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

The Casimir effect originates from the boundary effects on the quantum vacuum. The boundary modifies the allowed modes of zero-point, or virtual, photons. Current studies of the Casimir effect have taken place primarily between simple geometries such as the sphere-plate configuration. More complicated geometries will introduce modifications in the collective charge fluctuation anisotropy. In this work, we examine the Casimir force between a cylinder and a sphere in a UHV environment, examining the effects of the 1-D dimensionality of the cylinders. To reduce the ellipticity of the cylinders involved, we have used a glass optical fiber, coated with Au to provide a conductive surface. Co-location of the sphere and cylinder was achieved using a piezoelectric stage with a capacitive sensor controlled PID loop. To maintain cleanliness of the samples and minimize the effect of surface adsorbates, we utilize Ar ion bombardment and UV cleaning. We examine our results using the Proximity Force Approximation (PFA). The Casimir effect has broad implications for MEMS devices operating in the submicron regime.

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