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Event Number 2109

  Monday, February 7th, 2011

Condensed Matter Theory Group Seminar
Weyl Problem and the Casimir Effect in Spherical Shell Geometry
Time: 4:30 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin
Speaker: Hussain Zaidi, University of Virginia
Abstract: We compute the generic mode sum that quantifies the effect of the change of spectrum of a harmonic field when a spherical shell is inserted into the vacuum. This encompasses a variety of problems including the Weyl spectral problem and the Casimir effect of quantum electrodynamics. The connection between the Weyl problem and the Casimir energy allows us to resolve a long-standing controversy regarding the question of universality of the Casimir self-energy. Specifically we demonstrate that in the case of a scalar field obeying Dirichlet boundary conditions on the shell surface the Casimir self-energy is cutoff-dependent, while in the case of a conductive shell the Casimir self-energy is universal.
Host: Maxim Vavilov
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