Lateral interatomic dispersion forces

Barcellona, P., Bennett, R. and Buhmann, S. Y. (2020) Lateral interatomic dispersion forces. Physical Review A, 102(2), 020802(R). (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevA.102.020802)

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Abstract

Van der Waals forces between atoms and molecules are universally assumed to act along the line separating them. Inspired by recent works on effects which can propel atoms parallel to a macroscopic surface via the Casimir-Polder force, we predict a lateral van der Waals force between two atoms, one of which is in an excited state with nonzero angular momentum and the other is isotropic and in its ground state. The resulting force acts in the same way as a planetary gear, in contrast to the rack-and-pinion motion predicted in works on the lateral Casimir-Polder force in the analogous case, for which the force predicted here is the microscopic origin. We illustrate the effect by predicting the trajectories of an excited caesium in the vicinity of ground-state rubidium, finding behavior qualitatively different to that if lateral forces are ignored.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for financial support (Grant No. BU 1803/3).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bennett, Dr Robert
Authors: Barcellona, P., Bennett, R., and Buhmann, S. Y.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Physical Review A
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:2469-9926
ISSN (Online):2469-9934
Published Online:31 August 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 American Physical Society
First Published:First published in Physical Review A 102(2): 020802(R)
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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