Colloidal statistical mechanics in optical vortices

Y. Roichman, D. G. Grier

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Colloidal particles driven by an optical vortex constitute a model driven-dissipative system in which both macroscopic and microscopic aspects of transport can be studied. We find that the single-particle diffusion in an optical vortex can be either normal super-diffusive or sub-diffusive depending on the number of particles in the vortex and on the timescale over which the diffusion is measured. For a three particle system we find that the particles dynamics can be either steady-state periodic or with weakly chaotic characteristics depending on the relative effect of modulations in the intensity along the vortex and hydrodynamic interactions between the spheres, We introduce the use of the N-fold bond orientational order parameter to characterize particle circulating in a ring by one macroscopic quantity, for a three particle system we show that for short time scales the single-particle super-diffusion corresponds to a super-diffusive motion of the order parameter, At longer time scales we find that the order parameter asymptotes to the expected normal diffusion behavior for the steady state system, while fractional dynamics develop in the weakly chaotic system. Moreover, we confirm a prediction that related the power laws governing the fractional dynamics with those governing the weakly chaotic behavior.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationComplex Light and Optical Forces
    StatePublished - 2007
    EventComplex Light and Optical Forces - San Jose, CA, United States
    Duration: Jan 24 2007Jan 25 2007

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
    ISSN (Print)0277-786X


    OtherComplex Light and Optical Forces
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Jose, CA


    • Fractional dynamics
    • Giant diffusion
    • Holographic optical tweezers
    • Optical votex
    • Weak chaos

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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