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New Optical Forces Revealed

Mon, 07/27/2009 - 8:29am

Editor's Note: I love this deep-blue-sky science stuff.  New science is so cool, every discovery heralds the promise of a cornucopia of products using the technology discovered. We covered related aspects to this tech earlier.

repulsive and attractive nanophotonic forces(sciencedaily.com) - The University of Ghent (UGent) and the nanoelectronics research center IMEC demonstrated , depending on the spatial distribution of the light used. These fundamental research results might have major consequences for telecommunication and optical signal processing.

Photon impulse is usually considered to be relatively weak. In our macroscopic world, photons bumping into an object exert an almost negligible force on this object. Nevertheless, this picture changes dramatically when the object size is shrunk to nanoscale dimensions. When light is confined to very small cross-sections and large gradients exist in the spatial field distribution of the light, the optical gradient force induced per photon increases dramatically.

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