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Symmetry 2016, 8(5), 29;

The Reality of Casimir Friction

Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
Department of Physics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim 7491, Norway
Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim 7491, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sergei D. Odintsov
Received: 17 March 2016 / Revised: 20 April 2016 / Accepted: 21 April 2016 / Published: 28 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry: Feature Papers 2016)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1085 KB, uploaded 28 April 2016]   |  


For more than 35 years theorists have studied quantum or Casimir friction, which occurs when two smooth bodies move transversely to each other, experiencing a frictional dissipative force due to quantum electromagnetic fluctuations, which break time-reversal symmetry. These forces are typically very small, unless the bodies are nearly touching, and consequently such effects have never been observed, although lateral Casimir forces have been seen for corrugated surfaces. Partly because of the lack of contact with observations, theoretical predictions for the frictional force between parallel plates, or between a polarizable atom and a metallic plate, have varied widely. Here, we review the history of these calculations, show that theoretical consensus is emerging, and offer some hope that it might be possible to experimentally confirm this phenomenon of dissipative quantum electrodynamics. View Full-Text
Keywords: Casimir friction; dissipation; quantum fluctuations; fluctuation-dissipation theorem Casimir friction; dissipation; quantum fluctuations; fluctuation-dissipation theorem

Figure 1

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Milton, K.A.; Høye, J.S.; Brevik, I. The Reality of Casimir Friction. Symmetry 2016, 8, 29.

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