We propose a definitive test of whether plates involved in Casimir experiments should be modeled with ballistic or diffusive electrons - a prominent controversy highlighted by a number of conflicting experiments. The unambiguous test we propose is a measurement of the Casimir force between a disordered quasi-two-dimensional metallic plate and a three-dimensional metallic system at low temperatures, in which disorder-induced weak-localization effects modify the well-known Drude result in an experimentally tunable way. We calculate the weak-localization correction to the Casimir force as a function of magnetic field and temperature and demonstrate that the quantum interference suppression of the Casimir force is a strong, observable effect. The coexistence of weak-localization suppression in electronic transport and Casimir pressure would lend credence to the Drude theory of the Casimir effect, while the lack of such correlation would indicate a fundamental problem with the existing theory. We also study mesoscopic disorder fluctuations in the Casimir effect and estimate the width of the distribution of Casmir energies due to disorder fluctuations.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Allocca, A., Wilson, J., & Galitski, V. (2015). Quantum interference phenomena in the Casimir effect. Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, 91 (6) https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.91.062512