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Publication - Dr Simon Hanna

    Hydrodynamic synchronisation of optically driven rotors


    Debono, LJ, Box, S, Phillips, DB, Simpson, SH & Hanna, S, 2015, ‘Hydrodynamic synchronisation of optically driven rotors’. in: Optical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XII. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)


    Hydrodynamic coupling is thought to play a role in the coordinated beating of cilia and flagella, and may inform the future design of artificial swimmers and pumps. In this study, optical tweezers are used to investigate the hydrodynamic coupling between a pair of driven oscillators. The theoretical model of Lenz and Ryskin [P. Lenz and A. Ryskin, Phys. Biol. 3, 285{294 (2006)] is experimentally recreated, in which each oscillator consists of a sphere driven in a circular trajectory. The optical trap position is maintained ahead of the sphere to provide a tangential driving force. The trap is also moved radially to harmonically constrain the sphere to the circular trajectory. Analytically, it has been shown that two oscillators of this type are able to synchronise or phase-lock under certain conditions. We explore the interplay between synchronisation mechanisms and find good agreement between experiment, theory and Brownian dynamics simulations.

    Full details in the University publications repository