Quantitative determination of the motility forces of chromosomes during cell division is fundamental to understanding a process that is universal among eukaryotic organisms. Using an optical tweezers system, isolated mammalian chromosomes were held in a 1064 nm laser trap. The minimum force required to move a single chromosome was determined to be ≈ 0.8-5 pN. The maximum transverse trapping efficiency of the isolated chromosomes was calculated as ≈ 0.01-0.02. These results confirm theoretical force calculations of ≈ 0.1-12 pN to move a chromosome on the mitotic or meiotic spindle. The verification of these results was carried out by calibration of the optical tweezers when trapping microspheres with a diameter of 4.5-15 µm in media with 1-7 cP viscosity. The results of the chromosome and microsphere trapping experiments agree with optical models developed to simulate trapping of cylindrical and spherical specimens.