Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
Thermal Casimir effect with general boundary conditions
Departamento de Física Teórica, Atómica y Óptica, Valladolid University, Valladolid, Spain
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Accepted: 13 August 2020
Published online: 29 August 2020
In this paper we study the system of a scalar quantum field confined between two plane, isotropic, and homogeneous parallel plates at thermal equilibrium. We represent the plates by the most general lossless and frequency-independent boundary conditions that satisfy the conditions of isotropy and homogeneity and are compatible with the unitarity of the quantum field theory. Under these conditions we compute the thermal correction to the quantum vacuum energy as a function of the temperature and the parameters encoding the boundary condition. The latter enables us to obtain similar results for the pressure between plates and the quantum thermal correction to the entropy. We find out that our system is thermodynamically stable for any boundary conditions, and we identify a critical temperature below which certain boundary conditions yield attractive, repulsive, and null Casimir forces.
© The Author(s), 2020