Adhesion and cohesion of materials are of importance in many different areas of science and engineering, such as friction between objects, flow of liquids on solids or other liquid surfaces, and phase change heat transfer. One contribution to adhesive energy, irrespective of the type of material(s), is from van der Waals interactions, which arise from alteration of the quantum and thermal fluctuations of the electrodynamic field due to the presence of interfaces. Despite its importance, the theory of van der Waals interactions between macroscopic bodies, which is mainly due to Lifshitz, Dzyaloshinskii, and Pitaevskii, remains shrouded in relatively complicated language of quantum statistical physics. In this paper, we will present an alternate derivation which skirts quantum statistical physics (for most part) and relies primarily on a combination of classical electrodynamics and energy conservation.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.