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Casimir–Polder forces in inhomogeneous backgrounds

Abstract

Casimir–Polder interactions are considered in an inhomogeneous, dispersive background. We consider both the interaction between a polarizable atom and a perfectly conducting wall, and between such an atom and a plane interface separating two different inhomogeneous dielectric media. A renormalization scheme is proposed, consisting of subtracting the interaction with the local inhomogeneous medium by itself. The results are expressed in general form, and generalize the Dzyaloshinskii–Lifshitz–Pitaevskii interaction between a spatially homogeneous dielectric interface and a polarizable atom.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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