V. M. Mostepanenko

Nanotechnology and Telecommunications, St.Petersburg State Polytechnical University

We discuss recent precise measurements of the Casimir force acting between closely spaced material surfaces and determined by the zero-point and thermal fluctuations of the electromagnetic field. Comparison between the measurement results and theoretical predictions of the Lifshitz theory of van der Waals and Casimir forces reveals a fundamental problem concerning the interaction of quantum fluctuations with matter. Related thermodynamic problems in the formalism of the Lifshitz theory are also considered. The phenomenological presciption is formulated which brings the measurement data in agreement with theoretical predictions. The achieved measure of agreement is used to obtain new laboratory limits on the parameters of axions as possible constituents of dark matter.

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