Modern experiments on atom-surface casimir physics

Maarten De Kieviet, Ulrich D. Jentschura, Grzegorz Łach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this chapter we review past and current experimental approaches to measuring the long-range interaction between atoms and surfaces, the so-called Casimir-Polder force. These experiments demonstrate the importance of going beyond the perfect conductor approximation and stipulate the relevance of the Dzyaloshinskii-Lifshitz-Pitaevskii theory. We discuss recent generalizations of that theory, that include higher multipole polarizabilities, and present a list of additional effects, that may become important in future Casimir-Polder experiments. Among the latter, we see great potential for spectroscopic techniques, atom interferometry, and the manipulation of ultra-cold quantum matter (e.g. BEC) near surfaces. We address approaches based on quantum reflection and discuss the atomic beam spin-echo experiment as a particular example. Finally, some of the advantages of Casimir-Polder techniques in comparison to Casimir force measurements between macroscopic bodies are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCasimir Physics
EditorsDiego Dalvit, Peter Milonni, David Roberts, Felipe Rosa
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - Jul 27 2011

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Physics
ISSN (Print)0075-8450

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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    De Kieviet, M., Jentschura, U. D., & Łach, G. (2011). Modern experiments on atom-surface casimir physics. In D. Dalvit, P. Milonni, D. Roberts, & F. Rosa (Eds.), Casimir Physics (pp. 393-418). (Lecture Notes in Physics; Vol. 834).