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Distinguishing models of surface response through the self-energy of an electron

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posted on 02.10.2018, 14:58 authored by Robert Bennett, Stefan Yoshi Buhmann, Claudia EberleinClaudia Eberlein
© 2018 American Physical Society. The self-energy of an electron confined between parallel surfaces with arbitrary dielectric properties is calculated. The mechanism for this effect is the surface-induced modification of the fluctuating quantized vacuum field to which the electron is coupled, thereby endowing it with a surface-dependent self-energy in broad analogy to the Casimir-Polder effect for an atom. We derive a general formula for this self-energy shift and find that its sign is different for two commonly used models of surface response, namely, the plasma model and the Drude model. We propose an experiment which could detect this difference in sign, shedding light on continuing uncertainty about the correct description of the interaction of low-frequency vacuum photons with media.

Funding

This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Grant No. BU 1803/3-1476), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Physics

Published in

Physical Review A

Volume

98

Issue

2

Citation

BENNETT, R., BURHMANN, S.Y. and EBERLEIN, C., 2018. Distinguishing models of surface response through the self-energy of an electron. Physical Review A, 98: 022515.

Publisher

© American Institute of Physics

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

01/08/2018

Publication date

2018-08-21

Notes

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Physical Review A and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.98.022515

ISSN

2469-9926

eISSN

2469-9934

Language

en

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