Latest Optical tweezers Stories

2011-02-04 08:20:46

In a paradox typical of the quantum world, JILA scientists have eliminated collisions between atoms in an atomic clock by packing the atoms closer together. The surprising discovery, described in the Feb. 3 issue of Science Express, can boost the performance of experimental atomic clocks made of thousands or tens of thousands of neutral atoms trapped by intersecting laser beams. JILA is jointly operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of...

2011-01-26 12:06:56

There is considerable interest in understanding transport and information pathways in living cells. It is crucial for both the transport of, for example, medicine into cells, the regulation of cell life processes and their signalling with their environment. New research in biophysics at the Niels Bohr Institute shows surprisingly that the transport mechanisms do not follow the expected pattern. The results have been published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters. The researchers...

2010-07-07 07:33:26

Star Trek fans will remember "tractor beams," lasers that allowed the Starship Enterprise to trap and move objects. Tel Aviv University is now turning this science fiction into science fact "” on a nano scale. A new tool developed by Tel Aviv University, Holographic Optical Tweezers (HOTs) use holographic technology to manipulate up to 300 nanoparticles at a time, such as beads of glass or polymer, that are too small and delicate to be handled with traditional laboratory instruments....

2010-07-06 14:05:00

While those wonderful light sabers in the Star Wars films remain the figment of George Lucas' fertile imagination, light mills "“ rotary motors driven by light "“ that can power objects thousands of times greater in size are now fact. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have created the first nano-sized light mill motor whose rotational speed and direction can be controlled by...

2010-05-28 09:16:44

Scalable devices inspired by nature exhibit customizable optical properties suitable for applications ranging from highly sensitive sensors and detectors to invisibility cloaks Imagine creating novel devices with amazing and exotic optical properties not found in Nature"”by simply evaporating a droplet of particles on a surface. By chemically building clusters of nanospheres from a liquid, a team of Harvard researchers, in collaboration with scientists at Rice University, the University...

2010-05-21 08:37:42

A century after Albert Einstein said we would never be able to observe the instantaneous velocity of tiny particles as they randomly shake and shimmy, so called Brownian motion, physicist Mark Raizen and his group have done so. "This is the first observation of the instantaneous velocity of a Brownian particle," says Raizen, the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair and professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin. "It's a prediction of Einstein's that has been standing...

2010-03-30 09:15:04

Scientists are learning how our immune system senses and tracks down infection in the body by responding to chemical "scents" emitted by bacteria. Studying how immune cells manipulate their movement in response to external signals could shed light not only on how our immune system functions but also how cancer cells spread through the body and even how the brain wires itself. Speaking at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburgh, Dr Holger Kress describes a new...

2010-02-16 10:45:17

Scalable and reusable optical detection system boasts the sensitivity of a large microscope in a much smaller, cheaper package With a silicone rubber "stick-on" sheet containing dozens of miniature, powerful lenses, engineers at Harvard are one step closer to putting the capacity of a large laboratory into a micro-sized package. The marriage of high performance optics with microfluidics could prove the perfect match for making lab-on-a-chip technologies more practical. Microfluidics, the...

2010-02-02 10:50:02

University of Michigan researchers have shown that tension on DNA molecules can affect gene expression---the process at the heart of biological function that tells a cell what to do. Scientists understand the chemistry involved in gene expression, but they know little about the physics. The U-M group is believed to be the first to actually demonstrate a mechanical effect at work in this process. Their paper is published in the current edition of Physical Review Letters. "We have shown that...

2009-11-18 09:16:48

With a bit of leverage, Cornell researchers have used a very tiny beam of light with as little as 1 milliwatt of power to move a silicon structure up to 12 nanometers. That's enough to completely switch the optical properties of the structure from opaque to transparent, they reported. The technology could have applications in the design of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) -- nanoscale devices with moving parts -- and micro-optomechanical systems (MOMS) which combine moving parts with...

Word of the Day
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.