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Proceedings Paper

Solar sails, optical tweezers, and other light-driven machines
Author(s): Masud Mansuripur
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Paper Abstract

Electromagnetic waves carry energy, linear momentum, and angular momentum. When light (or other electromagnetic radiation) interacts with material media, both energy and momentum are usually exchanged. The force and torque experienced by material bodies in their interactions with the electromagnetic field are such that the energy as well as the linear and angular momenta of the overall system (i.e., the system of field plus matter) are conserved. Radiation forces are now used routinely to trap and manipulate small objects such as glass or plastic micro-beads and biological cells, to drive micro- and nanomachines, and to contemplate interstellar travel with the aid of solar sails. We discuss the properties of the electromagnetic field that enable such wide-ranging applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 September 2011
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8122, Tribute to Joseph W. Goodman, 81220D (20 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.903613
Show Author Affiliations
Masud Mansuripur, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8122:
Tribute to Joseph W. Goodman
H. John Caulfield; Henri H. Arsenault, Editor(s)

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