Quantum electrodynamics near anisotropic polarizable materials: Casimir-Polder shifts near multilayers of graphene

Eberlein, Claudia and Zietal, Robert (2012) Quantum electrodynamics near anisotropic polarizable materials: Casimir-Polder shifts near multilayers of graphene. Physical Review A, 86 (6). 062507-1. ISSN 1050-2947

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Abstract

In a recent paper, we formulated a theory of nonrelativistic quantum electrodynamics in the presence of an inhomogeneous Huttner-Barnett dielectric. Here we generalize the formalism to anisotropic materials and show how it may be modified to include conducting surfaces. We start with the derivation of the photon propagator for a slab of material and use it to work out the energy-level shift near a medium whose conductivity in the direction parallel to the surface far exceeds that in the direction perpendicular to the surface. We investigate the influence of the anisotropy of the material's electromagnetic response on the Casimir-Polder shifts, both analytically and numerically, and show that it may have a significant impact on the atom-surface interaction, especially in the nonretarded regime, i.e., for small atom-surface separations. Our results for the energy shift may be used to estimate the Casimir-Polder force acting on quantum objects close to multilayers of graphene or graphite. They are particularly important for the case of trapped cold molecules whose dispersive interactions with surfaces often fall within the nonretarded regime where the anisotropy of the material strongly influences the Casimir-Polder force. We also give a formula for the change in the spontaneous decay rate of an excited atom or molecule near an anisotropically conducting surface.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Depositing User: Claudia Eberlein
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2013 13:33
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 21:44
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/44327

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