The van der Waals interaction between colloidal particles and its molecular interpretation

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Abstract

We discuss the relation between a description of the van der Waals interaction between colloidal partic
es based on a molecular picture of matter with the Lifshitz description based
on quantum electrodynamics. The main observations are as follows: (i)
Starting from the Lifshitz description one can derive the exact Hamaker
result for the dispersion interaction by applying the Clausius-Mossotti
formula relating the dielectric permittivity of a medium to the
polarizability of the molecular units. The Hamaker result appears as a
leading term and the first correction term fully corresponds to the
Axilrod-Teller three-body correction to the dispersion
interaction. (ii) It is pointed out that the so called zero frequency
term in the Lifshitz expression for the Hamaker constant has
contributions from both quantum and classical molecular degrees of
freedom and that the conventional interpretation of this term is
quantitatively incorrect. (iii) An expression for the interaction
between two classical dipolar media is derived using a recently
published conjecture. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights
reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-195
JournalColloids and Surfaces a-Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Volume228
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physical Chemistry

Keywords

  • van der Waals
  • Electrodynamic
  • Colloidal

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