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

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## Main Question or Discussion Point

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!

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

Can the vacuum noise of optics experiments be "replaced" as some type of fluctuations of electrons as it can in the Casimir effect?
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".

(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?)
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.