Skip navigation and go to content
Physics and Astronomy

Physics & Astronomy Colloquium

3:30 PM, Friday, January 25, 2013
Room 155, Chem-Phys Building

Dr. Alex Sushkov
Department of Physics
Harvard University

Observation of the thermal Casimir effect and new limits on non-Newtonian forces in the micrometer range

Quantum theory predicts the existence of the Casimir force between macroscopic bodies, a force arising from the zero-point energy of electromagnetic field modes around them. I will report the experimental observation of the thermal Casimir force between two gold plates, due to thermal rather than quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field at room-temperature. The thermal Casimir force dominates over the quantum force for separations greater than a micrometer. We use our measurements to place new upper bounds on short-range exotic forces, arising, for example, in quantum gravity theories with extra dimensions.

Refreshments will be served in CP 177 at 3:15 PM