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Abstract: We present a study of atom-wall interactions in non-relativistic quantumelectrodynamics by functional integral methods. The Feynman-Kac path integralrepresentation is generalized to the case when the particle interacts with aradiation field, providing an additional effective potential that contains allthe interactions induced by the field. We show how one can retrieve thestandard van der Waals, Casimir-Polder and classical Lifshiftz forces in thisformalism for an atom in its ground state. Moreover, when electrostaticinteractions are screened in the medium, we find low temperature correctionsthat are not included in the Lifshitz theory of fluctuating forces and areopposite to them.

Autor: F. Cornu, Ph. A. Martin


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