Colloidal spheres localized in an array of harmonic wells form a thermally excited, viscously damped dynamical system capable of supporting propagating elastic waves. Experimentally realized with micrometer-scale polystyrene spheres localized in a line of holographic optical traps, the hydrodynamically coupled array's behavior is quantitatively explained by a model based on the Oseen superposition approximation. The spheres' purely dissipative coupling is predicted to mediate a crossover to a regime of underdamped propagating elastic waves with uniformly negative group velocities that has yet to be verified experimentally.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy