casimir effect

Science Dictionary
Casimir effect   (kāz'ə-mîr')  Pronunciation Key 
The effect of a net attractive force between objects in a vacuum, caused by quantum mechanical vacuum fluctuations creating radiation pressure. The radiation can be thought of as an atmosphere of virtual particles. The amount of radiation pressure on the objects is decreased in the gap between them, due to limits on the wavelength of the radiation in the gap. The gap is thus an area of lower radiation pressure, drawing the objects toward it. This force is strong enough to be of great importance at scales encountered in nanotechnology. The Casimir effect is named after Dutch physicist Hendrik Casimir (1909-2000).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: casimir delavigne
Next Definition: casimir funk
Words Near: casimir effect
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for casimir effect
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing casimir effect
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;