University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Wednesday HEP-GR Colloquium > The Thermal Casimir Effect, Soap Films and the Schrodinger Functional

The Thermal Casimir Effect, Soap Films and the Schrodinger Functional

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In any system consisting of layers of material with different dieletric constants and/or containing different concentrations of electrolyte solution there are classical van der Waals forces acting on the interfaces; these are thermal Casimir forces. A classic example is a thin soap film which collapses to the “zero” thickness Newton Black film at critical applied external pressure because these forces, attractive between the film surfaces, overcome coulomb repulsion. I show how to calculate these Casimr forces by consdering the thermal fluctuations of the (static) electric potential field using a quantum mechanical formalism based on the Schrodinger functional to evaluate the partition function. Applications to lipid membrane systems such as t-tubules and the effect of surface fluctuations are discussed.

This talk is part of the Wednesday HEP-GR Colloquium series.

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