This title appears in the Scientific Report : 2008 

The Casimir effect as scattering problem
Wirzba, A.
Theorie der starken Wechselwirkung; IKP-3
Journal of physics / A, 41 (2008) S. 164003
Bristol IOP Publ. 2008
164003
10.1088/1751-8113/41/16/164003
Journal Article
Physik der Hadronen und Kerne
Journal of Physics A - Mathematical and Theoretical 41
J
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Please use the identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/2128/10491 in citations.
Please use the identifier: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1751-8113/41/16/164003 in citations.
We show that Casimir-force calculations for a finite number of non-overlapping obstacles can be mapped onto quantum-mechanical billiard-type problems which are characterized by the scattering of a fictitious point particle off the very same obstacles. With the help of a modified Krein trace formula the genuine/finite part of the Casimir energy is determined as the energy-weighted integral over the log-determinant of the multi-scattering matrix of the analog billiard problem. The formalism is self-regulating and inherently shows that the Casimir energy is governed by the infrared end of the multi-scattering phase shifts or the spectrum of the fluctuating field. The calculation is exact and in principle applicable for any separation(s) between the obstacles. In practice, it is more suited for large-to medium-range separations. We report especially about the Casimir energy of a fluctuating massless scalar field between two spheres or a sphere and a plate under Dirichlet and Neumann boundary conditions. But the formalism can easily be extended to any number of spheres and/or planes in three or arbitrary dimensions, with a variety of boundary conditions or non-overlapping potentials/non-ideal reflectors.