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Love-Hate Relationship
Nick Bax '12
Department of Chemistry (Photo taken at NIH/NHLBI)
The heart-shaped light seen here is the result of my attempt to create an "optical trap," a tightly focused laser beam of light capable of holding microscopic particles stable in three dimensions. This beam is supposed to be as round as possible -- so after a day of troubleshooting I was frustrated that this was the roundest beam I was able to achieve. In the background one can see the silica beads that I was unsuccessfully trying to capture with my optical trap. The silica beads were about 1 micron in diameter. For an appreciation of scale: the period at the end of this sentence is about 500 microns wide.