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Vacuum port in optics, Casimir effect, fluctuations of vacuum or electrons.

  1. Nov 17, 2014 #1
    The force in the Casimir effect can be "explained" by two causes, see,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_effect#Possible_causes

    In some optics experiments we must account for the fluctuations of the quantum vacuum to get the right experimental results. See,

    Vacuum noise, http://www.rp-photonics.com/vacuum_noise.html or

    http://books.google.com/books?id=GE...e&q=in quantum optics the vacuum port&f=false

    Can the vacuum noise of optics experiments be "replaced" as some type of fluctuations of electrons as it can in the Casimir effect? (could fluctuations of electrons that make up say a beam splitter or are on the other side of the Universe account for the vacuum noise in optics experiments?)

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    You've got that backwards - the experimental results are always right: that is what Nature does. You need to account for vacuum fluctuations in the theory to make the prediction match the experimental result.

    Probably - coming up with alternative models is easy. "some kind of" and "fluctuations" is pretty vague.
    The alternative approach to the Casimir force is that it is a manifestation of van der Waals force.
    http://cds.cern.ch/record/431510/files/0003093.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_der_Waals_force
    ... if we describe the Van der Waals effect as due to "fluctuations of electrons", then these are different sorts of fluctuations to "vacuum fluctuations".

    On the "other side of the Universe" ... ?? In the paper above you see that the Van der Waals forces are restricted to a very short range.
    The electrons that make up the beam splitter certainly affect the experiment - if they didn't, then it would not work as a beam splitter.
    It's not a good idea to do physics by analogy.

    Also read:
    http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/11544/vander-waals-and-casimir-forces
    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/vacuum-fluctuations-do-not-exist.731949/
    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/van-der-waals-forces.484739/
     
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