Particles with nonlinear electric response: Suppressing van der Waals forces by an external field

Abstract : We study the classical thermal component of Casimir, or van der Waals, forces between point particles with highly anharmonic dipole Hamiltonians when they are subjected to an external electric field. Using a model for which the individual dipole moments saturate in a strong field (a model that mimics the charges in a neutral, perfectly conducting sphere), we find that the resulting Casimir force depends strongly on the strength of the field, as demonstrated by analytical results. For a certain angle between external field and center to center axis, the fluctuation force can be tuned and suppressed to arbitrarily small values. We compare the forces between these anharmonic particles to those between harmonic ones, and also provide a simple formula for asymptotically large external fields, which we expect to be generally valid for the case of saturating dipole moments.
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Physical Review E , American Physical Society (APS), 2017, 95 (1), pp.012151. <10.1103/PhysRevE.95.012151>
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Heino Soo, David S. Dean, Matthias Krüger. Particles with nonlinear electric response: Suppressing van der Waals forces by an external field. Physical Review E , American Physical Society (APS), 2017, 95 (1), pp.012151. <10.1103/PhysRevE.95.012151>. <hal-01485251>

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