Engineering the

Casimir Forces:

theoretical and experimental perspectives


The study of the Casimir force is an active area of theoretical physics and recent developments in experimental techniques are leading to new measurements of the Casimir force and presenting new challenges for theorists in the domains of both the quantum Casimir effect and the critical Casimir effect.  A number of fundamental questions about the Casimir force are becoming accessible experimentally, two of particular importance are  (i) the nature of the statistical fluctuations of the Casimir force and (ii) the behaviour of the Casimir effect out off equilibrium, both its  relaxation to its equilibrium value and its behaviour in non-equilibrium and driven systems.  It is also clear that in many contexts the Casimir effect is far from being an ideal one, and a good understanding of the effects of disorder and non-ideal material properties on the Casimir effect may be necessary to interpret experiments but also be practically important in order to engineer the Casimir effect.

The workshop will gather theorists and experimentalists working  on the Casimir effect as well as experts in out of equilibrium classical and quantum statistical mechanics and disordered systems. The emphasis of the lectures will be to identify the experimental challenges in Casimir force measurements as well as the theoretical challenges needed to interpret the experiments. In particular we would like to invite experts on out of equilibrium dynamics and disordered systems to lecture on the possible applications of their field in the Casimir effect. We would also like to identify eventual technical challenges related the realization of Casimir devices and discuss the possibility of modulating the Casimir effect, in particular how the sign of the interaction could be controlled in a single  experimental systems.

David Dean and Ricardo Brito, Organizers


European Science Foundation
(Program EPSD)


Vilaflor, Tenerife, November 9-11, 2012