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Prof. Dr. Erich Eisenriegler

Boundary Effects in Critical Systems

Casimir Effect in Critical Fluids

Colloidal Particles in Polymer Solutions

Due to their large, mesoscopic, correlation length critical systems such as fluid mixtures near their critical demixing point show boundary effects, arising e.g. from a container wall or an immersed colloidal particle, which deeply penetrate into the bulk of the system. By the same reason a critical system mediates a force of mesoscopic range between two particles [C1, .., C4], [F1, .., F6]. Other important examples for this mechanism are the Casimir force between conductors mediated by electromagnetic vacuum fluctuations and forces between colloidal particles mediated by a dilute solution of long flexible polymer chains [P-B1], [P-R1, P-R2], [P-A1, .., P-A13]. In the latter case the role of the correlation length is taken by the polymer radius of gyration or the mesh-size.