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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2011 Apr;83(4 Pt 1):041408. Epub 2011 Apr 20.

Tunable Brownian vortex at the interface.

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  • 1Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India.


A general kind of Brownian vortices is demonstrated by applying an external nonconservative force field to a colloidal particle bound by a conservative optical trapping force at a liquid-air interface. As the liquid medium is translated at a constant velocity with the bead trapped at the interface, the drag force near the surface provides enough rotational component to bias the particle's thermal fluctuations in a circulatory motion. The interplay between the thermal fluctuations and the advection of the bead in constituting the vortex motions is studied, and we infer that the angular velocity of the circulatory motion offers a comparative measure of the interface fluctuations.

©2011 American Physical Society

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