Giving to CREOL CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics

Demonstration of Optically Controlled “active matter” Published in Nature Photonics

Many naturally occurring systems are "active" in the sense that their complex dynamics is driven by both thermal fluctuations and additional energy sources. The dynamic coupling between colloids and multiply scattered light creates a controllable, optically-driven active medium.
Members of Dr. Aristide Dogariu's reseach group Kyle Douglas and Sergey Sukhov published an article in Nature Photonics entitled "Superdiffusion in optically controlled active media". In addition, a news story entitled "UCF Optics Researchers Demonstrate New Model of Living Matter" was published on the UCF Today website.

Active media are complex systems driven by both thermal fluctuations and additional energy sources and are encountered in a variety of phenomena including mobile bacteria, protein diffusion or turbulent flows. However, studying the non-equilibrium dynamics of active media is often difficult because of their size and complexity. The CREOL group has demonstrated that an active medium can be realized and controlled optically through dynamic coupling between multiply scattered light and colloidal particles. As a result of a strong light–matter interaction, the particles undergo diffusion upon a spatiotemporal random potential that leads to an apparent superdiffusion over timescales controlled by, among other things, both the input power and particle size. This model could serve as a convenient tool for exploring the intricacies of non-equilibrium thermodynamics of soft matter while also offering new possibilities for the coherent control of strongly coupled, complex systems.

Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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