Casimir energy of a cylindrical shell of elliptical cross section

Joseph P. Straley, Graham A. White, Eugene B. Kolomeisky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We calculate the increase in the number of modes (the Kac number) per unit length and the change in the zero-point energy (the Casimir energy) of the electromagnetic field resulting from the introduction of a thin, perfectly conducting cylindrical shell of elliptical cross section. Along the way we give a route to the calculation of these physical quantities. The Casimir energy is found to be attractive with the circular case corresponding to the energy maximum and the large eccentricity limit being the divergent energy minimum. As a result, with only Casimir stresses present, a fixed-area shell is unstable and might collapse onto itself. This instability is argued to persist at arbitrary temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number022503
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 13 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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