Fractal Dimensions Should Modify The Casimir Effect

14 09 2011

The effects of fractal dimensions could one day be observed if Casimir measurements can be made sensitive enough, according to theoretical physicist.

“One day”?  I’m pretty sure I sure I observed some fractal dimensions at a trance party last month.  But it would sure be pretty awesome if we could take a picture of them using scientific instruments:

Hongbo Cheng at the East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai […] has calculated how extra fractal dimensions would influence the Casimir effect. This is the mysterious force that pushes two parallel conducting plates together when they are only a tiny distance apart.

The effect is caused by the maelstrom of particles flitting in and out of existence at the Planck scale. These particles all have an associated wavelength. If the gap between the plates is smaller than this wavelength, then the particle cannot fit in the gap and so is excluded. When this happens, the excess of particles outside the plates tend to push them together.

Cheng says that if the distance between the plates is about the same as the scale of any extra dimension, then this must effect the Casimir force too. In fact, he says that this force will be stronger if the extra dimension is integral than if it is fractal but that the exact nature of the difference is sensitive to the fractal degree.

Read more: arXiv

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