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Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics


We report on measurements performed on an apparatus aimed to study the Casimir force in the cylinder-plane configuration. The electrostatic calibrations evidence anomalous behaviors in the dependence of the electrostatic force and the minimizing potential upon distance. We discuss analogies and differences of these anomalies with respect to those already observed in the sphere-plane configuration. At the smallest explored distances we observe frequency shifts of non-Coulombian nature preventing the measurement of the Casimir force in the same range. We also report on measurements performed in the parallel-plane configuration, showing that the dependence on distance of the minimizing potential, if present at all, is milder than in the sphere-plane or cylinder-plane geometries. General considerations on the interplay between the distance-dependent minimizing potential and the precision of Casimir force measurements in the range relevant to detect the thermal corrections for all geometries are finally reported.