Researchers from the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) have proposed a new approach to describe the interaction of metals with electromagnetic fluctuations (i.e., with random bursts of electric and magnetic fields). The obtained results have applications in both fundamental physics, and for creating nanodevices for various purposes. The article was published in the European Physical Journal C.

The operation of microdevices used in modern technology is influenced by the Casimir force caused by electromagnetic fluctuations. This is the force of attraction acting between two surfaces in the vacuum. Such an interaction between electrically neutral bodies located at a distance of less than one micrometer was theoretically described in the middle of the 20th century by Academician Evgeny Lifshitz. In some cases, however, Lifshitz's theory contradicted the . A mysterious paradox was discovered in the process of precise measurements of the Casimir forces in nanodevices.

"The predictions of the Lifshitz's theory were in agreement with the measurement results only if the energy losses of conduction electrons in metals were not taken into account in calculations. These losses, however, do exist! It is that electric current slightly heats the wire. In the literature, this situation is called the Casimir puzzle," explains Galina Klimchitskaya, Professor of the Institute of Physics, Nanotechnology and Telecommunications, SPbPU.

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