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Thursday, August 11, 2011
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)

Postdoc Seminar

Looking inside the Casimir Effect

Francesco Intravaia
Theoretical Division, LANL

The quantum and classical fluctuations of the coupled system electromagnetic field + matter lead to an interaction between two bodies that is generally called Casimir effect or van der Waals force, depending on the distance between the objects. By definition, this fluctuation-induced force is strongly connected with concepts of condensed matter physics like plasmon-polaritons and diffusive currents. The knowledge of the interplay between (quantum) thermodynamics and these phenomena is crucial to understand the the strength and the sign of the Casimir force. I will give an overview on the thermodynamical aspects of the contributions of surface plasmons and Foucault currents to the Casimir effect putting in evidence some unusual behaviors. We also show how these phenomena could be used in order to tailor the strength and the sign of the force.

Host: Peter Loxley, loxley@lanl.gov