The availability of experimental set-ups that allow accurate measurements of surface forces between macroscopic objects at submicron separations has recently stimulated a renewed interest in the Casimir effect and in its possible applications to micro- and nanotechnology. In the last few years, a large number of European groups belonging to very different areas of expertise has provided relevant theoretical and experimental contributions to this highly interdisciplinary topic. Collaborations between European theorists and experimentalists, often belonging to different countries, have also given rise to the design of new experiments that, relying on forefront technology, will soon address several open issues of the theory. Some of these experiments have already received economical support and are now under development. This scenario represents a unique scientific opportunity that calls for the development of a European network dedicated to the Casimir effect, which is the subject of this proposal. The CASIMIR network represents an invaluable tool that will allow scientists to discuss long standing problems and analyze new trends in Casimir force experiments, applications, and theory. The network will outline the research required, coordinate its implementation, promote the transfer of skills and knowledge, foster the collaboration of European research community, and forge links with non-European communities. From an educational point of view, young European scientists belonging to the participating groups will benefit from the opportunity to interact with international, highly qualified scientists, an experience that will enrich their professional skills and their personality.
Casimir effect, Micro- and Nanotechnology, Yukawa-type forces, Quantum vacuum
More information can be found on the programme's dedicated site.
5 years from April 2008 until April 2013