Classical Casimir interaction in the plane-sphere geometry

A. Canaguier-Durand, G.-L. Ingold, M.-T. Jaekel, A. Lambrecht, P. A. Maia Neto und S. Reynaud

Phys. Rev. A 85, 052501 (2012) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.85.052501

We study the Casimir interaction in the plane-sphere geometry in the classical limit of high temperatures. In this limit, the finite conductivity of the metallic plates needs to be taken into account. For the Drude model, the classical Casimir interaction is nevertheless found to be independent of the conductivity so that it can be described by a single universal function depending only on the aspect ratio x=L/R where L is the interplate distance and R the sphere radius. This universal function differs from the one found for perfect reflectors and is in principle amenable to experimental tests. The asymptotic approach of the exact result to the Proximity Force Approximation appears to be well fitted by polynomial expansions in lnx.