Harmonic Generation and Long-Range Optical Binding of Aerosols
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The interaction of light and matter is a research area of fundamental importance, spanning a wide range of fields in optics and electromagnetics. This work describes experimental observations related to two major research topics. The first is the experimental demonstration of cascaded harmonic generation in a whispering gallery resonator, producing continuous-wave ultraviolet light from a near infrared pump laser. The lithium niobate resonator amplifies the intensity of the pump, allowing for the observation of nonlinear effects at relatively low, continuous-wave excitation. In addition to harmonic generation, multi-photon Raman scattering processes are observed, producing additional spectral lines near the pump and harmonics. The second topic discussed is the observation of long-range interaction of optically trapped dielectric objects, also known as optical binding. The light-mediated interaction of spherical and non-spherical dielectric objects confined to a weakly focused Gaussian beam trap in air is experimentally observed, and the static and dynamic interactions between trapped objects are investigated. Finally, numerical modeling is employed to help explain the modification of the trapping potential by trapped objects and the resulting experimentally observed behavior.