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Journal Article

Juggling with light


Bae,  Albert J.
Laboratory for Fluid Dynamics, Pattern Formation and Biocomplexity, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Bae, A. J., Hanstorp, D., & Chang, K. (2019). Juggling with light. Physical Review Letters, 122: 043902. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.043902.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-18B6-5
We discovered that when a pair of small particles is optically levitated, the particles execute a "dance" whose motion resembles the orbits of balls being juggled. This motion lies in a plane perpendicular to the polarization of the incident light. We ascribe the dance to a mechanism by which the dominant force on each particle cyclically alternates between radiation pressure and gravity as each particle takes turns eclipsing the other. We explain the plane of motion by considering the anisotropic scattering of polarized light at a curved interface.