Fluctuation‐induced Forces

729. WE-Heraeus-Seminar

14 Feb - 18 Feb 2022


Physikzentrum Bad Honnef

Scientific organizers:

Prof. Dr. Siegfried Dietrich, MPI für Intelligente Systeme, Stuttgart • Prof. Dr. Andrea Gambassi, SISSA, Trieste, Italy • Prof. Dr. Matthias Krüger, U Göttingen • Dr. habil. Ania Maciołek, Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland

This seminar has been postponed from September 2020 to February 2022 due to the corona pandemic.

Fluctuations are ubiquitous in nature, their various kinds being, for example, displayed in water waves, the random motion of (atomic) particles in matter, or in the stochastic behavior of photons in black-body radiation. While often neither of particular interest nor of relevance, fluctuations play a fundamental role if spatially correlated, i.e., when they reach across mesoscopic distances in space. On that level they may give rise to physical forces — so-called fluctuation-induced forces — which have been measured in a large variety of systems and setups at the micrometer scale.

Prominent examples of spatially correlated fluctuations are found in the electromagnetic field, resulting in the celebrated Casimir effect of quantum electrodynamics, and in fluid media near a critical point, causing the so-called critical Casimir effect. While these instances have been shown to comprise interesting equilibrium and non-equilibrium behaviors, out-of-equilibrium situations such as active matter open up even wider avenues due to the general emergence of long-ranged correlations, which, in various cases, have been predicted theoretically. Indeed, relatively few ingredients are required for such fluctuation-induced effects. They thus occur in many different scientific areas, including, e.g. Biology, which renders their study highly interdisciplinary.

This WE-Heraeus Seminar aims at covering the broad range of occurrence of these fluctuation-induced effects, including the impressive recent theoretical and experimental progress. In view of the high degree of interdisciplinarity, this Seminar promises to become especially fruitful by bringing together scientists from various research areas, in order to foster cross-fertilization regarding both phenomenology and methodology.

The conference language will be English. The Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Foundation bears the cost of full-board accommodation for all participants.