Quantum zeropoint energy and longrange forces*1
Abstract
The ideas of quantum zeropoint energy may be used to evaluate forces arising in electromagnetism, nuclear physics, and pair theory. This article is a review of the calculations involving electromagnetic theory, where the forces are termed longranged van der Waals forces, or retarded dispersion forces. Experimental confirmation of the calculations is pointed out when possible. Inasmuch as longrange van der Waals forces have been evaluated by a number of quantum fieldtheoretic methods, there is an attempt made to understand the success of the zeropoint energy calculations in the context of quantum field theory. There appears to be a close connection between the electromagnetic zeropoint calculations and pair theory. It is noted that only in the case of electromagnetism are the forces arising from zeropoint energy found to be cutoff independent. Heuristic connections between zeropoint energy and semiclassical fluctuation phenomena are noted throughout the analysis.
 Publication:

Annals of Physics
 Pub Date:
 February 1970
 DOI:
 10.1016/00034916(70)900278
 Bibcode:
 1970AnPhy..56..474B