Influence of nonconservative optical forces on the dynamics of optically trapped colloidal spheres: The fountain of probability

Yohai Roichman, Bo Sun, Allan Stolarski, David G. Grier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    We demonstrate both experimentally and theoretically that a colloidal sphere trapped in a static optical tweezer does not come to equilibrium, but rather reaches a steady state in which its probability flux traces out a toroidal vortex. This nonequilibrium behavior can be ascribed to a subtle bias of thermal fluctuations by nonconservative optical forces. The circulating sphere therefore acts as a Brownian motor. We briefly discuss ramifications of this effect for studies in which optical tweezers have been treated as potential energy wells.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number128301
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Volume101
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 16 2008

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physics and Astronomy(all)

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of nonconservative optical forces on the dynamics of optically trapped colloidal spheres: The fountain of probability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this