Abstract

The intensity-dependent rocking frequency of an illuminated semicylindrical refractive rod (or “optical wing”) on a flat, nonslip surface is investigated. Both longitudinal and transverse radiation pressure forces (scatter and lift forces), as well as radiation pressure torque, transform the mechanical system into one having a bistable potential energy above a critical intensity. The equation of motion may be written as a parametrically driven nonlinear bistable harmonic oscillator, resulting in complex rocking dynamics. The effects of linear and sinusoidal intensity modulation schemes are explored, and experimental conditions to verify these results are discussed.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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