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Optical Tweezers University of St. Thomas

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Published on Mar 25, 2012

The target is a micron-sized piece of birefringent calcite crystal that we isolated after grinding a large piece of crystal into a powder and mixing it with water. The trap was created by a 650 nm, 60 mW diode laser. The camera's capture rate was 30 fps.

Angular momentum transfer in optical tweezers using circularly polarized light. I built the apparatus for my Optics 347 course at the University of St. Thomas. At about 20 seconds in you can see where we flipped the object's rotation direction from clockwise to counter-clockwise by changing the laser's circular polarization.

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