Diffusion of Spherical Polystyrene Particles through a Tilted Washboard Potential

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This project involved the study of Brownian motion of polystyrene microspheres in the presence of gravity and a one-dimensional sinusoidal optical potential generated by the interference of two laser beams. An exponential relationship was observed between applied laser power and particle residence time of individual interference fringes. Increasing laser power also revealed a wider distribution of residence times and a more narrow distribution of displacements from the t = 0 position. These observations were confirmed using finitedifference time-domain (FDTD) computer simulations.

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  • 07/17/2018
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