Materials Bound by Non-Chemical Forces: External Fields and the Quantum Vacuum


Article Preview

We discuss materials which owe their stability to external elds. These include: 1)external electric or magnetic elds, and 2) quantum vacuum uctuations in these elds inducedby suitable boundary conditions (the Casimir e ect). Instances of the rst case include theoating water bridge and ferrouids in magnetic elds. An example of the second case is takenfrom biology where the Casimir e ect provides an explanation of the formation of stackedaggregations or \rouleaux" by negatively charged red blood cells. We show how the interplaybetween electrical and Casimir forces can be used to drive self-assembly of nano-structuredmaterials, and could be generalized both as a probe of Casimir forces and as a means ofmanufacturing nanoscale structures. Interestingly, all the cases discussed involve the generationof the somewhat exotic negative pressures. We note that very little is known about the phasediagrams of most materials in the presence of external elds other than those represented bythe macroscopic scalar quantities of pressure and temperature. Many new and unusual statesof matter may yet be undiscovered.



Edited by:

Evangelos Hristoforou and D.S. Vlachos




J. Swain et al., "Materials Bound by Non-Chemical Forces: External Fields and the Quantum Vacuum", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 543, pp. 314-317, 2013

Online since:

March 2013




[1] W. G. Armstrong, Electr. Eng. 10 (1983) 153.

[2] E.C. Fuchs, J. Woisetschlager, K. Gatterer, E. Maier, R. Pecnik, G. Holler and H. Eisenkolbl, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 40 (2007) 6112; E. C. Fuchs, K. Gatterer, G. Holler and J. Woisetschlager, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 41 (2008) 185502.


[3] E. Hand, Nature 449 (2007) 517.

[4] J. Swain et al., in preparation.

[5] For example, for neutron scattering data see E. C. Fuchs et al., J. Phys. D42 (2009) 065502; for collective QED effects see E. del Giudice et al. Water Journal, 2 (2010) 69. Much work continues.

[6] A. Widom et al., Phys. Rev. E80 (2009) 016301.

[7] For a review, see for example, V. M. Mostepanenko and N. N. Trunov, The Casimir Effect and its Applications, translated by R.L. Znajek, Clarendon Press, Oxford (1997).

[8] K. Bradonjić, A. Widom, J. Swain and Y. N. Srivastava, J. Phys. Conf. Ser. 161 (2009) 012935.

[9] Y. Srivastava, A. Widom and M. H. Friedman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 55 (1985) 2246.

[10] M. J. Sparnaay, Physica 24 (1958) 751.

[11] S. K. Lamoreaux, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78 (1997) 5; G. Bressi it al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 88 (2002) 041804; U. Mohideen and A. Roy, Phys. Rev. Lett. 81 (1998) 4549; G. Bressi et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 88 (2002) 041804.


[12] See, for example, the classic K. E. Drexler, Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York NY (1982).

[13] D. Bonn et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 103 (2009) 156101.

Fetching data from Crossref.
This may take some time to load.