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On non-equilibrium photon distributions in the Casimir effect



The electromagnetic field in a typical geometry of the Casimir effect is described in the Schwinger–Keldysh formalism. The main result is the photon distribution function (Keldysh Green function) in any stationary state of the field. A two-plate geometry with a sliding interface in local equilibrium is studied in detail, and full agreement with the results of Rytov fluctuation electrodynamics is found.