Do the plates in the Casimir effect need to be metal? What if one uses super conductors? Is there any difference theoretically/experimentally?

  • $\begingroup$ Strictly speaking, it doesn't have to be conductors, at all. Dielectrics will cause the effect, too. Any physics that changes the vacuum expectation value of the electromagnetic field will. I would expect, that the strength of the force will depend on the amount by which that expectation value changes, so it should be different for metals and dielectrics and there is probably a twist for superconductors depending on the type of superconduction mechanism (which should alter surface states). The latter is a wild guess, though. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Oct 2 '14 at 18:47

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