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Theory of Living Matter Group


7th Pub tutorial

No registration required.

Thursday, 20th April 2017, 6pm

The Old Bicycle Shop
104 Regent Street, Cambridge CB2 1DP


As usual, snacks are provided by TLM, drinks can be bought in the pub.

“Using light to measure biological forces—May the optical tweezers be with you!”

Pierre-Fran├žois Lenne

Light is essential for biological imaging but it can also be used to trap and exert forces on objects. The first optical trapping system simply consisted of tightly focusing a laser beam using a good optical lens. I will briefly review the history of optical trapping and describe the basic physical principles of optical tweezers. I will then describe a few popular and exotic implementations of the technique. I will finally show applications of the use of optical forces in biology, from single molecule to tissue mechanics.