Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Optical Tweezers To Prove Einstein Right

Date:
February 1, 2005
Source:
Institute Of Physics
Summary:
100 years after Einstein’s landmark paper, optical tweezer technology could confirm the theory of classical Brownian motion in details that Einstein missed when he first proposed it a century ago.

100 years after Einstein’s landmark paper, optical tweezer technology could confirm the theory of classical Brownian motion in details that Einstein missed when he first proposed it a century ago. This research is reported today in a special Einstein Year issue of the New Journal of Physics (www.njp.org) published jointly by the Institute of Physics and the German Physical Society (Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft).

Related Articles


“Optical tweezers” use a focused laser beam to trap and study microscopic objects, such as the individual bio-molecules that power muscle cells and propel sperm, and those that read the genetic code. The device is disturbed, however, by a subtle effect in Brownian motion known as the back-flow effect.

100 years ago in 1905, Einstein published a landmark paper on Brownian motion. He theorised that it is the constant buffeting of microscopic particles that goes on in any fluid as the fluid molecules randomly knock those particles around. He missed the subtle "back-flow effect" in which the very movement of a particle disturbs the water which ultimately bounces back to nudge the particle in return. "It's like a boat that tries to stop, and then is pushed by its stern wave when that wave catches up with the boat," explains Henrik Flyvbjerg of Risψ National Laboratory in Denmark. "Optical tweezers sense the back-flow effect," adds Flyvbjerg, "but that also means it can be studied with them."

Einstein described Brownian motion as arising from the "white" noise of random molecular motion due to heat. But, the back-flow effect makes higher frequencies slightly more likely, making the white noise "bluey white". Flyvbjerg and his colleagues demonstrate that optical tweezers technology is now at the point where this colour shift can be measured directly. He is collaborating with Stanford University's Steve Block to push the technology to do it. If successful, they will confirm Brownian motion's last unobserved trait, 100 years after Einstein's initial theory for it.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute Of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute Of Physics. "Optical Tweezers To Prove Einstein Right." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050131225038.htm>.
Institute Of Physics. (2005, February 1). Optical Tweezers To Prove Einstein Right. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050131225038.htm
Institute Of Physics. "Optical Tweezers To Prove Einstein Right." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050131225038.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

3D Printed Cookies Just in Time for Christmas

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — A tech company in Spain have combined technology with cuisine to develop the 'Foodini', a 3D printer designed to print the perfect cookie for Santa. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ford Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Ford Expands Air Bag Recall Nationwide

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — The automaker added 447,000 vehicles to its recall list, bringing the total to more than 502,000. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Sony Hopes To Make Any Glasses 'Smart'

How Sony Hopes To Make Any Glasses 'Smart'

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Sony's glasses module attaches to the temples of various eye- and sunglasses to add a display and wireless connectivity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins