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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 15, Iss. 14 — Jul. 9, 2007
  • pp: 8960–8971

On the rotational stability of nonspherical particles driven by the radiation torque

Ferdinando Borghese, Paolo Denti, Rosalba Saija, and Maria Antonia Iatì  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 14, pp. 8960-8971 (2007)

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We calculate the radiation torque exerted by a monochromatic plane wave, either unpolarized or linearly polarized, on aggregates of spheres and investigate the stability of the resulting rotational motion. In fact, neglecting any braking momenta we calculate the component of the electromagnetic torque orthogonal to the principal axis of maximum moment of inertia through the center of mass (transverse torque), as a function of the direction of propagation of the incident field. The aggregates we study are composed of homogeneous spheres, possibly of different materials. The electromagnetic torque is calculated through the transition matrix approach along the lines of the theory reported in our recent paper [F. Borghese, P. Denti, R. Saija and M. A. Iatì, Opt. Express 14, 9508 (2006)]. When the transverse component of the electromagnetic torque is small or vanishes the rotational motion driven by the component along the principal axis of inertia may be nearly stable.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(260.2110) Physical optics : Electromagnetic optics
(260.2160) Physical optics : Energy transfer
(290.0290) Scattering : Scattering

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: May 7, 2007
Revised Manuscript: June 28, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: June 28, 2007
Published: July 5, 2007

Virtual Issues
Vol. 2, Iss. 8 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Ferdinando Borghese, Paolo Denti, Rosalba Saija, and Maria Antonia Iati, "On the rotational stability of nonspherical particles driven by the radiation torque," Opt. Express 15, 8960-8971 (2007)

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