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We discuss the interaction between interfaces that is mediated by critical fluctuations, and in particular the universality of the corresponding finite-size amplitudes. In the case of the two-dimensional Ising model we address the universality with respect to anisotropy. For this purpose we derive the exact free energy of a finite, anisotropic triangular lattice on a cylinder. For the rectangular Ising model we verify universality also with respect to the magnitude of the boundary fields. In mean-field theory we display the mechanism for this universality and for that with respect to the surface coupling enhancement. Numerical results, which are of experimental relevance, are obtained employing a renormalization-group approximation for three-dimensional systems.

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©1986 The American Physical Society