The Casimir Effect

The Casimir Effect and Nanomachines

In London’s terminology, the van der Waals/London/Casimir-Polder/Lifshitz interaction is a dispersion force, but it sounds far more exciting and mysterious when called “the Casimir effect” and described in terms of zero-point energy and quantum-mechanical vacuum fluctuations. Cranks find it fascinating and hucksters profit.

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  1. Lamellar solids are common: smectite clays, graphite, molybdenum and tantalum disulfides, zirconium phosphonates, magnesium diboride, optical coatings. No thermodynamic anomalies appear even when superconducting, e.g., MgB2). The layers don’t form mirrored etalons. If you’re feeling clean and wholesome, science has the cure – casimatter!

    A 70 nm aluminum layer, 2.7 g/cm^3, reflects 93% (99% of theoretical) between 100 and 120 nm. MgF2, 3.177 g/cm^3 and RI = 1.63 at 121 nm, has 80% transmittance at 115 nm. LiF, 2.639 g/cm^3 and RI = 1.777 goes to 110 nm. Aluminum’s coefficient of thermal expansion, 23.1 ppm/K, is matched by 60:40 MgF2:LiF alloy, RI = 1.628 at 121 nm.

    Spin a flat wide deposition torus over alternating sectors of magnetron sputtered Al metal and 60:40 MgF2:LiF alloy to lay down an endless alternate bifilar spiral deposit of 70 nm Al and 37 nm fluoride alloy to half-wave cancel a 120 nm optical pathlength. Cool, cut out pieces of casimatter: average density 2.79 gm/cm^3 of which 37 wt-% is ZPF-depleted fluoride alloy.

    Examine casimatter cleverly.

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