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Critical Casimir Forces in a Magnetic System: An Experimental Protocol

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Close to a critical point of a continuous phase transition in a confined system fluctuations give rise to the critical Casimir force when the correlation length becomes of the order of the system size. Indirect measurements in 4He wetting films near the superfluid transition and both direct and indirect measurements in binary liquid mixtures have been performed. The Casimir force being a critical finite size effect, its universal functional form has been studied theoretically and numerically in the Ising and XY models as a generalized thermodynamic force, dOmega/dL, where Omega is the magnetic free energy. However, no measurement of the critical Casimir effect in magnetic systems has been performed. We introduce a new numerical experiment that follows a magnetic protocol which could in principle be adapted to experiments on thin film magnets.

This talk is part of the Theory of Condensed Matter series.

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