Monday, November 11, 2013

Dynamical analysis of an optical rocking ratchet: Theory and experiment

Alejandro V. Arzola, Karen Volke-Sepúlveda, José L. Mateos
A thorough analysis of the dynamics in a deterministic optical rocking ratchet [ A. V. Arzola et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 106 168104 (2011)] and a comparison with experimental results are presented. The studied system consists of a microscopic particle interacting with a periodic and asymmetric light pattern, which is driven away from equilibrium by means of an unbiased time-periodic external force. It is shown that the asymmetry of the effective optical potential depends on the relative size of the particle with respect to the spatial period, and this is analyzed as an effective mechanism for particle fractionation. The necessary conditions to obtain current reversals in the deterministic regime are discussed in detail.
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