Table of Contents
Advances in Optical Technologies
Volume 2011, Article ID 723901, 11 pages
Research Article

Mechanical Action of Inhomogeneously Polarized Optical Fields and Detection of the Internal Energy Flows

1Physical Department, Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University, Dvorianska 2, Odessa 65082, Ukraine
2Correlation Optics Department, Chernivtsi National University, Kotsyubinsky Str. 2, Chernivtsi 58012, Ukraine

Received 20 May 2011; Accepted 22 July 2011

Academic Editor: Mikhail Noginov

Copyright © 2011 A. Ya. Bekshaev et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We analyze numerically correspondence between the mechanical action, experienced by a spherical microparticle, and the internal energy flows in the light field incident on the particle. The inhomogeneous incident field is modelled by superposition of two plane waves; the mechanical action is calculated via the Mie theory for dielectric and conducting particles of different sizes and optical properties. It is shown that both spin and orbital components of the field momentum can produce the mechanical action whose value and sign depend on many additional details of the field-particle interaction. Besides, forces that are not associated with any sort of the energy flow (e.g., the gradient force owing to the inhomogeneous intensity and the polarization-dependent dipole force emerging due to inhomogeneous polarization) can strongly modify the observed mechanical action. The polarization-dependent mechanical action on particles can be treated as a form of the spin-orbit interaction of light.