Send to

Choose Destination
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2014 Dec;90(6):062313. Epub 2014 Dec 22.

Theory of coherent van der Waals matter.

Author information

CNRS, Institute Charles Sadron, 23 rue du Loess BP 84047, 67034 Strasbourg, France.
Institute for Theoretical Physics, Goethe-University D-60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


We explain in depth the previously proposed theory of the coherent van der Waals (cvdW) interaction, the counterpart of van der Waals (vdW) force, emerging in spatially coherently fluctuating electromagnetic fields. We show that cvdW driven matter is dominated by many-body interactions, which are significantly stronger than those found in standard van der Waals (vdW) systems. Remarkably, the leading two- and three-body interactions are of the same order with respect to the distance (∝R(-6)), in contrast to the usually weak vdW three-body effects (∝R(-9)). From a microscopic theory we show that the anisotropic cvdW many-body interactions drive the formation of low-dimensional structures such as chains, membranes, and vesicles with very unusual, nonlocal properties. In particular, cvdW chains display a logarithmically growing stiffness with the chain length, while cvdW membranes have a bending modulus growing linearly with their size. We argue that the cvdW anisotropic many-body forces cause local cohesion but also a negative effective "surface tension." We conclude by deriving the equation of state for cvdW materials and propose experiments to test the theory, in particular the unusual three-body nature of cvdW.


Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center