Dispersion forces in inhomogeneous planarly layered media: A one-dimensional model for effective polarizabilities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Dispersion forces such as van der Waals forces between two microscopic particles, the Casimir-Polder forces between a particle and a macroscopic object, or the Casimir force between two dielectric objects are well studied in vacuum. However, in realistic situations the interacting objects are often embedded in an environmental medium. Such a solvent influences the induced dipole interaction. With the framework of macroscopic quantum electrodynamics, these interactions are mediated via an exchange of virtual photons. Via this method the impact of a homogeneous solvent medium can be expressed as local-field corrections leading to excess polarizabilities which have previously been derived for hard boundary conditions. In order to develop a more realistic description, we investigate a one-dimensional analog system illustrating the influence of a continuous dielectric profile.


  • Johannes Fiedler
  • Fabian Spallek
  • Priyadarshini Thiyam
  • Clas Persson
  • Mathias Boström
  • Michael Walter
  • Stefan Yoshi Buhmann
External organisations
  • Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg
  • University of Oslo
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials (IWM)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Theoretical Chemistry
  • Other Physics Topics
Original languageEnglish
Article number062512
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 25
Publication categoryResearch