Further information: It is well known that light has a capacity to generate forces – a principle already widely used in 'laser tweezers' for example. In the field of optofluidics, there are other applications that also involve a strong response to light, in microscale components. In fact, since each quantum of light conveys a momentum that can engage with matter, attention is increasingly being focused on pursuing these principles in the nanoscale regime, with nanoparticles and large molecules now in realistic prospect. Structured light offers many further avenues of application, with some studies raising the possibility of steering individual molecules, with a view to separating those of opposite chiral form. To understand such interactions is challenging, as quantum features emerge in both the matter and the light itself. This talk shows how photons can drive motion, and how at a deeply fundamental level, quantum fluctuations can also generate exotic nanoscale forces between particles of matter.
Talk begins at 6:30pm, refreshments from 6:00pm.