In this paper we discuss the Casimir effect in a small cavity, freely falling from spatial infinity in spacetime geometry outside of a Schwarzschild black hole. Our main goal is to search for possible changes in the vacuum energy, as well as particle creation inside the falling cavity, with respect to a comoving observer. Working in the Lemaître chart and assuming a cavity size L much smaller than the Schwarzschild radius (L/rg1), we solve the Klein-Gordon equation for a massless scalar field confined within the cavity in the reference frame of the comoving observer. We follow Schwinger's proper time approach, evaluating the one-loop effective action for the field in the falling cavity hence evaluating the corrections to the vacuum energy. We find a small reduction in the absolute value of Casimir energy as the cavity approaches the black hole horizon due to the changing spacetime geometry. Since the spacetime geometry for the cavity changes dynamically, we further find the energy density of the created particles due to the dynamical Casimir effect. These dynamical contributions exactly match the deficit to the static Casimir energy. Combined, the observer measures a net increase in energy within the cavity as she falls.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Physical Review D
Sorge, F., & Wilson, J. (2019). Casimir effect in free fall towards a Schwarzschild black hole. Physical Review D, 100 (10) https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.100.105007