Sunday, January 25, 2015

Actio et reactio in optical binding

Sergey Sukhov, Alexander Shalin, David Haefner, and Aristide Dogariu

The symmetry in action and reaction between interacting particulate matter breaks down when the interaction is mediated by an out-of-equilibrium environment. Nevertheless, even in this case, the space translational invariance still imposes the conservation of canonical momentum. Here we show that optical binding of an asymmetric material system can result in non-reciprocal interactions between constituents. We demonstrate that a non-conservative force applies to the center of mass of an optically bound dimer of dissimilar particles, which leads to an unexpected action in the transversal direction. The sign and the magnitude of this positional force depend on the abrupt phase transitions in the properties of the asymmetric dimer.

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