Abstract

We present the detailed behavior of the axial force acting on a dielectric sphere exerted by the optical pressure of a focused Gaussian laser beam. Comparison is made between the numerical results and those calculated from the radiation pressure cross section. There is also a discussion as to whether the expressions for the axial force given in this paper are consistent with the previously reported experimental results. Moreover, a simple experimental method to measure the axial force on a polystyrene sphere suspended in water is demonstrated, and fairly good agreement between theoretical and experimental results was obtained.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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