Tuesday, April 16, 2013

1304.3338 (Ottavio A. Croze)

Does the Feigel effect violate the first law?    [PDF]

Ottavio A. Croze
A recent theory by Feigel posits that the quantum vacuum can transfer momentum to magnetoelectric media (the Feigel effect). The theory's predictions of this effect have yet to be observed experimentally. Theoretically, the existence of the phenomenon remains contentious. Many related theories of vacuum momentum transfer have been proposed. Some investigations predict a measurable effect, others conclude the momentum transfer is not physically possible. Some of these, including Feigel's original analysis, do not model an experimentally realistic geometry. I recently derived an alternative derivation of Feigel's original theory and applied it to realistic, experimentally testable geometries. I here show here that in such geometries the existence of a steady Feigel effect is equivalent to a violation of the first law of thermodynamics: the momentum extracted from the vacuum leads macroscopically to a stress, which could be used to carry out work with no energy input. This is a very strong argument that a steady Feigel effect should not be observable. I will show how indeed a semi-classical analysis, with proper consideration of boundaries, predicts there should be no net vacuum contribution on a magnetoelectric medium.
View original: http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.3338

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