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Sign of the Casimir-Polder interaction between atoms and oil-water interfaces: Subtle dependence on dielectric properties

By M. Boström, S.Å. Ellingsen, I. Brevik, D.F. Parsons and B.E. Sernelius

Abstract

We demonstrate that Casimir-Polder energies between noble gas atoms (dissolved in water) and oil-water interfaces are highly surface specific. Both repulsion (e.g., hexane) and attraction (e.g., glycerine and cyclodecane) is found with different oils. For several intermediate oils (e.g., hexadecane, decane, and cyclohexane) both attraction and repulsion can be found in the same system. Near these oil-water interfaces the interaction is repulsive in the nonretarded limit and turns attractive at larger distances as retardation becomes important. These highly surface specific interactions may have a role to play in biological systems where the surface may be more or less accessible to dissolved atoms

Publisher: The American Physical Society
Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au:26917
Provided by: Research Repository
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