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Long-ranged correlations in a fluid close to its critical point Tc cause distinct forces between immersed colloidal particles and the container walls. We calculate such a force and its temperature dependence for the generic case of a spherical particle located at a distance D from a planar wall and find that the force attains a maximum at a temperature Tmax(D) above Tc, which facilitates quantitative experimental tests. The corresponding effective pair interaction between the colloidal particles themselves, potentially leading to aggregation, is also discussed.


©1998 American Physical Society. Original published version available at

Publication Title

Physical Review Letters





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