Exploration of the Quantum Casimir Effect
Michigan State University
Named after the Dutch Physicist Hendrik Casimir, The Casimir effect is a physical force that arises from fluctuations in electromagnetic field and explained by quantum field theory. The typical example of this is an apparent attraction created between two very closely placed parallel plates within a vacuum. Due to the nature of the vacuum's quantized field having to do with virtual particles, a force becomes present in the system. This effect creates ideas and explanations for subjects such as zero-point energy and relativistic Van der Waals forces. In this paper I will explore the Casimir effect and some of the astonishing mathematical results that originally come about from quantum field theory that explain it along side an approach that does not reference the zero-point energy from quantum field theory.