Fundamentals of van der Waals and Casimir Interactions

  • Bo E. Sernelius

Part of the Springer Series on Atomic, Optical, and Plasma Physics book series (SSAOPP, volume 102)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Bo E. Sernelius
    Pages 1-5
  3. Background Material

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-8
    2. Bo E. Sernelius
      Pages 9-43
    3. Bo E. Sernelius
      Pages 45-60
    4. Bo E. Sernelius
      Pages 61-68
    5. Bo E. Sernelius
      Pages 69-107
    6. Bo E. Sernelius
      Pages 109-123
  4. Non-Retarded Formalism: van der Waals

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-134
    2. Bo E. Sernelius
      Pages 135-151
    3. Bo E. Sernelius
      Pages 153-207
  5. Fully Retarded Formalism: Casimir

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 257-258
    2. Bo E. Sernelius
      Pages 259-271
    3. Bo E. Sernelius
      Pages 273-337
    4. Bo E. Sernelius
      Pages 339-371
    5. Bo E. Sernelius
      Pages 373-392
    6. Bo E. Sernelius
      Pages 393-395
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 397-416

About this book


This book presents a self-contained derivation of van der Waals and Casimir type dispersion forces, covering the interactions between two atoms but also between microscopic, mesoscopic, and macroscopic objects of various shapes and materials. It also presents detailed and general prescriptions for finding the normal modes and the interactions in layered systems of planar, spherical and cylindrical types, with two-dimensional sheets, such as graphene incorporated in the formalism.

A detailed derivation of the van der Waals force and Casimir-Polder force between two polarizable atoms serves as the starting point for the discussion of forces: Dispersion forces, of van der Waals and Casimir type, act on bodies of all size, from atoms up to macroscopic objects. The smaller the object the more these forces dominate and as a result they play a key role in modern nanotechnology through effects such as stiction. They show up in almost all fields of science, including physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, and even cosmology.

Written by a condensed matter physicist in the language of condensed matter physics, the book shows readers how to obtain the electromagnetic normal modes, which for metallic systems, is especially useful in the field of plasmonics.


Van der Waals Interactions Dispersion Interactions Vacuum Energy Zero-Point Energy Electromagnetic Normal Modes Surface Modes Layered Structures Casimir Interaction Interaction Power Laws

Authors and affiliations

  • Bo E. Sernelius
    • 1
  1. 1.Linköping University LinköpingSweden

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-99830-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-99831-2
  • Series Print ISSN 1615-5653
  • Series Online ISSN 2197-6791
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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