Observation of bistability and hysteresis in optical binding of two dielectric spheres

N K Metzger, K Dholakia, Ewan Malcolm Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using a dual-beam fiber optic trap, we have experimentally observed bistability and hysteresis in the equilibrium separations of a pair of optically bound dielectric spheres in one dimension. These observations are in agreement with our coupled system model in which the dielectric spheres modify the field propagation, and the field self-consistently determines the optical forces on the spheres. Our results reveal hitherto unsuspected complexity in the coupled light-sphere system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)068102
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume96
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2006

Keywords

  • RADIATION PRESSURE
  • TRAP
  • PARTICLES
  • CONFINEMENT
  • FORCE

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