Colloquium: Masud Mansuripur

    Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Meinel 307

    "Mechanical Effects of Light on Material Media: Radiation Pressure and the Linear and Angular Momenta of Photons"


    Electromagnetic waves carry energy as well as linear and angular momenta. Interactions between light and material media typically involve the exchange of all three entities. In all such interactions, energy and momentum (both linear and angular) are conserved. Johannes Kepler seems to have been the first person to notice that the pressure of sunlight is responsible for the tails of the comets pointing away from the sun. Modern applications of radiation pressure and photon momentum include solar sails, optical tweezers for optical trapping and micromanipulation, and optically driven micromotors and actuators. We describe certain fundamental aspects underlying the mechanical effects of light and examine several interesting phenomena involving the linear and angular momenta of photons.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Masud Mansuripur (Ph.D., 1981, electrical engineering, Stanford University) is professor and Chair of Optical Data Storage at the College of Optical Sciences of the University of Arizona in Tucson. He is the author of Introduction to Information Theory (Prentice Hall, 1987), The Physical Principles of Magneto-Optical Recording (Cambridge University Press, 1995), Classical Optics and its Applications (Cambridge University Press, 2002, second edition 2009, Japanese translation 2006 and 2012), and Field, Force, Energy and Momentum in Classical Electrodynamics (Bentham e-books, 2011). A fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, he is the author or co-author of nearly 250 technical papers in the areas of optical data recording, magneto-optics, optical materials fabrication and characterization, thin film optics, diffraction theory, macromolecular data storage, and problems associated with radiation pressure and photon momentum.