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Dynamic stereo microscopy for studying particle sedimentation

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We demonstrate a new method for measuring the sedimentation of a single colloidal bead by using a combination of optical tweezers and a stereo microscope based on a spatial light modulator. We use optical tweezers to raise a micron-sized silica bead to a fixed height and then release it to observe its 3D motion while it sediments under gravity. This experimental procedure provides two independent measurements of bead diameter and a measure of Faxén’s correction, where the motion changes due to presence of the boundary.

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