Research report 2010 - Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart site

Critical Casimir Forces

Authors
Bechinger, Clemens; Dietrich, Siegfried
Departments

Weiche Materie (Prof. Dr. Clemens Bechinger)
MPI für Metallforschung, Stuttgart

Summary
The geometrical confinement of liquid mixtures close to their critical point gives rise to so-called critical Casimir forces. They are due to local fluctuations in the concentration of the mixture, which diverge close to the critical point and thus lead to long-ranged effective interactions. Critical Casimir forces are characterized by a strong temperature dependence but also by a high sensitivity for the corresponding surface properties of the confining walls. This allows one not only to vary the amplitude but even to reverse the sign of critical Casimir forces.

For the full text, see the German version.

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