The Lifshitz theory of dispersion forces leads to thermodynamic and experimental inconsistencies when the role of drifting charge carriers is included in the model of the dielectric response. Recently modified reflection coefficients were suggested that take into account screening effects and diffusion currents. We demonstrate that this theoretical approach leads to a violation of the third law of thermodynamics (Nernst's heat theorem) for a wide class of materials and is excluded by the data from two recent experiments. The physical reason for its failure is explained by the violation of thermal equilibrium, which is the fundamental applicability condition of the Lifshitz theory, in the presence of drift and diffusion currents.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Astronomy and Astrophysics