Alternative calculation of the Casimir forces between birefringent plates

T. G. Philbin, U. Leonhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Barash has calculated the Casimir forces between parallel birefringent plates with optical axes parallel to the plate boundaries [Izv. Vyssh. Uchebn. Zaved., Radiofiz. 12, 1637 (1978)]. The interesting feature of the solution compared to the case of isotropic plates is the existence of a Casimir torque which acts to line up the optical axes if they are not parallel or perpendicular. The forces were found from a calculation of the Helmholtz free energy of the electromagnetic field. Given the length of the calculations in this problem and hopes of an experimental measurement of the torque, it is important to check the results for the Casimir forces by a different method. We provide this check by calculating the electromagnetic stress tensor between the plates and showing that the resulting forces are in agreement with those found by Barash.

Original languageEnglish
Article number042107
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review. A, Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


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