The issue of retarded long-range resonant interactions between two molecules with oscillating dipole moments is revisited within the framework of classical electrodynamics. By taking advantage of a theorem in complex analysis, we present a simple method to calculate the frequencies of the normal modes, which are then used to estimate the interaction potential. The possibility that such interactions play a non-negligible role in ensuring the effective functioning of the biomolecular functions is investigated. On the basis of experimental results reported in the literature and simple numerical estimates, it is found that long-range interactions involving electromagnetic fields of frequencies 0.1–1THz could be temporarily activated despite radiation losses and solvent dissipation. Moreover, the theoretical background used to derive the mentioned interactions sheds light on Fröhlich’s theory of selective long-range forces between biomolecules. At variance with a long-standing belief, we show that sizable resonant long-range interactions may exist only if the interacting system is out of thermal equilibrium.
Phys. Rev. E 91, 052710 – Published 22 May 2015
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