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We compute the expectations of the squares of the electric and magnetic fields in the vacuum region outside a half-space filled with a uniform non-dispersive dielectric. This gives predictions for the Casimir-Polder force on an atom in theretarded'regime near a dielectric. We also find a positive energy density due to the electromagnetic field. This would lead, in the case of two parallel dielectric half-spaces, to a positive, separation-independent contribution to the energy density, besides the negative, separation-dependent Casimir energy. Rough estimates suggest that for a very wide range of cases, perhaps including all realizable ones, the total energy density between the half-spaces is positive.


Article in arXiv:hep-th/9810131



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