Nonequilibrium Casimir-Polder force in non-stationary systems

Ryan O. Behunin, B. L. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Recently the Casimir-Polder force felt by an atom near a substrate under nonequilibrium stationary conditions has been studied theoretically with macroscopic quantum electrodyanamics (MQED) and verified experimentally with cold atoms. We give a quantum field theory derivation of the Langevin equation describing the atom's motion based on the influence functional method valid for fully nonequilibrium (nonstationary) conditions. The noise associated with the quantum field derived from first principles is generally colored and nonlocal, which is at variance with the 'local source hypothesis' of MQED's generalization to nonequilibrium conditions. Precision measurements on the shape deformation of an atomic gas as a function of its distance from a mirror would provide a direct check of our predictions based on the Langevin equation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012001
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mathematical Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Nonequilibrium Casimir-Polder force in non-stationary systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this