Nonlinear Micromechanical Casimir Oscillator
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The Casimir force between uncharged metallic surfaces originates from quantum-mechanical zero-point fluctuations of the electromagnetic field. We demonstrate that this quantum electrodynamical effect has a profound influence on the oscillatory behavior of microstructures when surfaces are in close proximity (< or =100 nm). Frequency shifts, hysteretic behavior, and bistability caused by the Casimir force are observed in the frequency response of a periodically driven micromachined torsional oscillator.
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