Correlated motions of two hydrodynamically coupled particles confined in separate quadratic potential wells

Phys. Rev. E 65, 021906 – Published 18 January 2002
L. A. Hough and H. D. Ou-Yang


We report a study of the correlated motions of two hydrodynamically coupled colloidal particles, each of which is trapped in a quadratic potential well defined by optical tweezers (optical traps). By setting one of the trapped particles into forced oscillation using oscillating optical tweezers, we measure the displacement and phase shift of each of the particles over a wide frequency range. From the in-phase and out-of-phase motions of both of the particles in the traps, we determine the correlated motions of the coupled mechanical system as a function of frequency. A theoretical model is developed to calculate the response tensor of the coupled mechanical system. The experimental results are in agreement with the prediction of the theoretical model. This method may be extended to more general applications, such as the investigation of the micromechanical properties of viscoelastic and/or heterogeneous media.


  • Received 12 June 2001
  • Published 18 January 2002

© 2002 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

L. A. Hough and H. D. Ou-Yang

  • Department of Physics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015

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