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Influence of rotational force fields on the determination of the work done on a driven Brownian particle

Journal article
Authors Giuseppe Pesce
Giovanni Volpe
Giulia Rusciano
Antonio Sasso
Published in Journal of Optics
Volume 13
ISSN 20408978
Publication year 2011
Published at
Language en
Keywords nonconservative force field, Optical tweezers, rotational radiation force, thermodynamic work distribution
Subject categories Physical Sciences


For a Brownian system the evolution of thermodynamic quantities is a stochastic process, in particular the work performed on a driven colloidal particle held in an optical trap, changes for each realization of the experimental manipulation, even though the manipulation protocol remains unchanged. Nevertheless, the work distribution is governed by established laws. Here, we show how the measurement of the work distribution is influenced by the presence of rotational, i.e.nonconservative, radiation forces. Experiments on particles of different materials show that the rotational radiation forces, and therefore their effect on the work distributions, increase with the particle's refractive index. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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