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GALCIT Colloquium

Friday, October 16, 2020
3:00pm to 4:00pm
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Online Event
Photophoretic levitation as a new mechanism of flight
Igor Bargatin, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM), University of Pennsylvania,

Photophoresis, a light-induced thermal transport and levitation mechanism, has been studied and used with micrometer-scale particles for over a century. The Bargatin group recently demonstrated photophoretic levitation and propulsion of macroscopic (millimeter-scale) plates—thousands of times larger than ever before realized. The initial demonstration utilized a specially engineered metamaterial called nanocardboard but more recently, we demonstrated that simple polymer films can be levitated as well. In addition, we created an atmospheric-pressure analog of the Crookes radiometer - a century old device that converts incident light into rotational motion. I will discuss the possible applications of photophoretic microflyers on Mars and Earth. 

Live Zoom Event: < >

Box Recordings for Caltech: <>

Available for public on Youtube: <>

For more information, please contact Benjamin Riviere by email at [email protected].