Casimir effect and van der Waals forces in multilayer systems
Quantum electrodynamic fluctuation forces, which generalize the idealized force predicted by Casimir in 1948, have moved to an ever more central position in our understanding of mesoscopic forces between surfaces and between molecules and surfaces.
Casimir-Lifshitz and Casimir-Polder forces generalize and transform the notion of van der Waals forces. Advances in experimental technique and development of new theoretical tools have enabled this transformation.
There remain highly controversial issues to be resolved, such as the nature of thermal corrections, the form of Casimir friction, and whether it is realistic to achieve Casimir repulsion and levitation.
The driver, however, is the potential applications of these phenomena to physical systems. Here, we want to link developments in theory to what is needed in practical situations, such as the interaction of molecular gases with oil shale.
The project will be carried out and completed at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) together with researchers from the Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology at the University of Oslo (UiO).
Joint subprojects with the co-applicants and collaborators from the USA, Germany, Brazil, Sweden, Singapore, and Australia will involve short and long-term research visits. We will also arrange a combined workshop and summer school at NTNU during 2018.
A postdoc will be hired and advanced researchers will be supported by the grant. Collaboration via the internet will facilitate progress and coordination of research activities.
Strong interaction with our research partners and collaborators will facilitate rapid progress in research and serve for networking, exchanging knowledge, and scientific visibility. Long-term international research visits by the postdoc and researchers will increase scientific productivity and strengthen the collaborations.