Summary of mid-term report 2008-2010
CASIMIR is a five-year ESF program that is dedicated to research on the Casimir effect. Its aim is to foster pan-European collaborations on established problems and new trends, in Casimir force experiments, applications, and theory in all subject areas including surface science, materials science, micro/nanotechnologies through to cosmology and quantum gravity. The program unites leading scientists from these communities in 11 countries comprising, at present, 60 research groups (list available on the network website). In its first three years the CASIMIR program has developed rapidly almost doubling size in terms of participating research groups, with their work and interactions leading to more than 200 publications, some of which are leading papers defining the future trends in the field. Indeed, a number of novel experiments concerning the static or dynamic Casimir effect have been developed by groups in the network in the last few years. Experimental techniques based on recent technological developments in nanotechnology including atomic force microscopy, and MEMS devices are widely employed. On the theoretical side, Casimir force calculations, using numerous different methods ranging from quantum field theoretical approaches and renormalization methods to quantum statistical methods and scattering approaches to the world-line formalism, have been developed. These research efforts have been strongly supported by short visits and exchange grants. Moreover support was given to various science meetings where the CASIMIR presence was an important part of the event’s profile. In addition more science meetings have been planned and approved for the remaining years of the CASIMIR program. Some of these aim to establish strong links with industry and contribute to the broader economy in Europe. Finally, the CASIMIR program is part of several activities within EU and national programs, as well as international collaborations with the USA, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.
Outcome of evaluation : The mid-term report you provided earlier this year and your presentation at the PESC meeting in Dubrovnik on 11 April 2011 formed the basis for the review. In line with the Rapporteur’s recommendation, the PESC Standing Committee agreed to the continuation of CASIMIR. The Committee felt that CASIMIR was of a high scientific standard and that it had succeeded in pulling together the European community, both theoretical and experimental. Furthermore, the enhanced collaboration with the USA had added significant value to European research in the field of CASIMIR.