Colloquium: Koen Visscher

    Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Meinel 307

    "Optical Tweezers Throughout the Years"


    The development of optical tweezers from a simple focused laser beam to multiple traps and feedback-controlled constant-force traps will be discussed. Examples of their use in a variety of experiments in statistical mechanics, biology and single-molecule biophysics will be presented, from Kramers' escape, elasticity of polyelectrolytes and motor protein stepping to force-dependence of gene expression.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Koen Visscher received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) in 1993. As a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University, he pioneered the constant-force optical tweezers, or optical force clamp, for studying the motility of individual motor proteins. After joining the University of Arizona in 1999, his research has been directed towards single-molecule studies of gene expression, from transcription to translation, as well as RNA elastic properties and structure. He has received a Beckman Young Investigator Award, a Joop Los Fellowship at the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam and a visiting professorship at the Institut d'Optique (France).