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High-precision measurements of light-induced torque on absorbing microspheres

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Abstract

Laser beams have been demonstrated to be capable of exerting torque as well as forces on microparticles. Using a custom magneto-optic manipulator, we directly measured the torque exerted by laser light on absorbing microspheres as a result of the transfer of spin angular momentum. A general method for measuring torque has been developed, and the experimental apparatus has shown a sensitivity of 1 pN/nm.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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