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Graduate Student Seminar - 11/08/2013

"Patch Potentials in Casimir Force Measurements"

by Joe Garrett

Friday, November 8, 2013 -- 12:00 p.m.
Large Conference Room, 1207 Energy Research Facility

Advisor:  Assistant Professor Jeremy Munday

The Casimir force arises from electromagnetic fluctuations between two objects. Patch potentials have been expected to be a source of error in measurements of the force, and few experiments have investigated the role of patch potentials. Patch potentials are microscopic regions of a conducting surface at a potential which varies from the macroscopic potential. In elemental metals, they arise from varying crystal orientations and adsorbates. Patch potentials manifest themselves in Casimir force measurements as an additional attractive force. I will discuss the Casimir force, how to measure it with a frequency modulation atomic force microscope, patch potentials, and patch potentials we have measured on Au surfaces with Kelvin probe force microscopy.

For additional information about the IREAP Graduate Student Seminars, contact David Meichle at dmeichle at

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