Abstract

We report the first experimental observation of synchronization and clustering in an array of colloid microscopic particles confined in the extended optical trap. Under certain conditions initially random and incoherent fluctuations of the individual particles in the array go through an abrupt transition to a fully coherent state resulting in phase synchronization and clustering into a single giant oscillator. The factors triggering synchronization are identified. The interpretation of the results is given using the Kuramoto model. In addition, the transverse snake-type instability is observed for clustered particles.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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