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Kim Milton

George Lynn Cross Research Professor, Emeritus

Kim Milton
Fellow of the American Physical Society
Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics
Foreign Member of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters Academy
George Lynn Cross Research Professorship
Fellow of the Institute of Physics
Regents' Award for Superior Research & Creative Activity
B.S. 1967 University of Washington
Ph.D. 1971 Harvard
Ph: (405) 325-7060
Office: 325 Nielsen Hall



The focus of my research is on quantum field theory, which is the basis for our understanding of the fundamental forces of nature.  The most successful quantum field theory is quantum electrodynamics, which governs all of atomic physics, chemistry, biology, and condensed matter physics.  The key to its success is that the electromagnetic coupling constant, the charge of the electron, is very small in natural units, so weak-coupling expansions (perturbation theories) are practical.  The same is not true in the nuclear and subnuclear domain, where the couplings can be large.  Therefore, a large part of my career concentrated on exploring methods to transcend the limitations to weakly coupled theories.


My present work (going back 45 years!) largely concentrates on the Casimir effect, or more generally quantum vacuum energy phenomena.  This is also nonperturbative in that the background reflects nontrivial topological configurations of the underlying fields.  Currently being explored are quantum frictional forces, negative Casimir entropy, Casimir energies of inhomogeneous systems, repulsive Casimir forces, and local quantum effects (Casimir energy and force densities).  These ideas are being applied to cosmological and subnuclear systems, as well as to real-world phenomena, such as to the freezing of ice onto surfaces.  This work is being done in collaboration with a diverse group of scientists, of all ages and career stages,  spread around the world, linked through internet communication.



Self-force on moving electric and magnetic dipoles: dipole radiation, Vavilov-Cerenkov radiation, friction with a conducting surface, and the Einstein-Hopf effect, Kimball A. Milton, Hannah Day, Yang Li, Xin Guo, and Gerard Kennedy, [arXiv:2006.15375] Phys. Rev. Research 2, 043347 (2020).

Casimir forces in inhomogeneous media: Renormalization and the principle of virtual work, Yang Li, Kimball A. Milton, Xin Guo, Gerard Kennedy, Stephen A. Fulling, arXiv:1901.09111, Phys. Rev. D 99, 125004 (2019).

Role of zero point energy in promoting ice formation in a spherical drop of water, Prachi Parashar, K. V. Shajesh, Kimball A. Milton, Drew F. Parsons, Iver Brevik, Mathias Bostrom, arXiv:1907.04301, Phys. Rev. Research 1, 033210 (2019),

"Distance-dependent sign-reversal in the Casimir-Lifshitz torque," Priyadarshini Thiyam, Prachi Parashar, K. V. Shajesh, Oleksandr I. Malyi, Mathias Boström, Kimball A. Milton, Iver Brevik, Clas Persson, Physical Review Letters, 120, 131601, (2018) ADS: 2018arXiv180101183T arXiv: 1801.01183 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.131601

"On-chip Casimir effect ," K. A. Milton, Nature Photonics, 11, 73-74, (2017) DOI: doi:10.1038/nphoton.2016.277

"Casimir Self-Entropy of an Electromagnetic Thin Sheet," Yang Li, K. A. Milton, Pushpa Kalauni, Prachi Parashar, Phys. Rev. D, 94, 085010, (2016) ADS: 2016PhRvD..94h5010L arXiv: 1607.07900 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.94.085010

"Casimir Friction Between Polarizable Particle and Half-Space with Radiation Damping at Zero Temperature ," J. S. Hoye, I. Brevik and K. A. Milton, J. Phys. A: Math. Theor., 48, 365004, (2015) ADS: 2015JPhA...48J5004H arXiv: 1506.03937 DOI: 10.1088/1751-8113/48/36/365004

"Casimir-Polder repulsion: Three-body effects ," Kimball A. Milton, E. K. Abalo, Prachi Parashar, Nima Pourtolami, Iver Brevik, Simen A. Ellingsen, Stefan Yoshi Buhmann, and Stefan Scheel, Phys. Rev. , 91, 042510, (2015) ADS: 2015PhRvA..91d2510M arXiv: 1502.06129 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.91.042510

"How does Casimir energy fall? IV. Gravitational interaction of regularized quantum vacuum energy," K. A. Milton, K. V. Shajesh, S. A. Fulling, Prachi Parashar, Physical Review D, 88, 064027, (2014) ADS: 2014PhRvD..89f4027M arXiv: 1401.0784

"Investigations of the torque anomaly in an annular sector. II. Global calculations, electromagnetic case," K. A. Milton, Prachi Parashar, E.K. Abalo, Fardin Kheirandish, and Klaus Kirsten, Physical Review D, 88, 045030 , (2013) ADS: 2013PhRvD..88d5030M arXiv: 1307.2535