van der Waals Interaction Energy Between Two Atoms Moving With Uniform Acceleration
Abstract
We consider the interatomic van der Waals interaction energy between two neutral groundstate atoms moving in the vacuum space with the same uniform acceleration. We assume the acceleration orthogonal to their separation, so that their mutual distance remains constant. Using a model for the van der Waals dispersion interaction based on the interaction between the instantaneous atomic dipole moments, which are induced and correlated by the zeropoint field fluctuations, we evaluate the interaction energy between the two accelerating atoms in terms of quantities expressed in the laboratory reference frame. We find that the dependence of the van der Waals interaction between the atoms from the distance is different with respect to the case of atoms at rest, and the relation of our results with the Unruh effect is discussed. We show that in the near zone a new term proportional to $R^{5}$ adds to the usual $R^{6}$ behavior, and in the far zone a term proportional to $R^{6}$ adds to the usual $R^{7}$ behavior, making the interaction of a longer range. We also find that the interaction energy is timedependent, and the physical meaning of this result is discussed. In particular, we find accelerationdependent corrections to the $R^{7}$ (far zone) and $R^{6}$ (near zone) proportional to $a^2t^2/c^2$; this suggests that significant changes to the van der Waals interaction between the atoms could be obtained if sufficiently long times are taken, without necessity of the extremely high accelerations required by other known manifestations of the Unruh effect.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 April 2013
 DOI:
 10.48550/arXiv.1304.5786
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1304.5786
 Bibcode:
 2013arXiv1304.5786N
 Keywords:

 Quantum Physics;
 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
 High Energy Physics  Theory
 EPrint:
 9 pages