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Published March 15, 2016 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

Aharonov-Bohm phases in a quantum LC circuit


We study novel types of contributions to the partition function of the Maxwell system defined on a small compact manifold. These contributions, often not addressed in the perturbative treatment with physical photons, emerge as a result of tunneling transitions between topologically distinct but physically identical vacuum winding states. These new terms give an extra contribution to the Casimir pressure, yet to be measured. We argue that this effect is highly sensitive to a small external electric field, which should be contrasted with the conventional Casimir effect, where the vacuum photons are essentially unaffected by any external field. Furthermore, photons will be emitted from the vacuum in response to a time-dependent electric field, similar to the dynamical Casimir effect in which real particles are radiated from the vacuum due to the time-dependent boundary conditions. We also propose an experimental setup using a quantum LC circuit to detect this novel effect. We expect physical electric charges to appear on the capacitor plates when the system dimension is such that coherent Aharonov-Bohm phases can be maintained over macroscopically large distances.

Additional Information

© 2016 American Physical Society. Received 14 December 2015; published 23 March 2016. This research was supported in part by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. C. C. was supported in part by the Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics at Caltech, U.S. DOE Grant No. DE-SC0011632, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant No. 776 to the Caltech Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics. Y. Y. acknowledges a research award from the UBC Work Learn Program.

Attached Files

Published - PhysRevD.93.065049.pdf

Submitted - 1512.00470v1.pdf


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