We experimentally report on optical binding of many glass particles in air that levitate in a single optical beam. A diversity of particle sizes and shapes interact at long range in a single Gaussian beam. Our system dynamics span from oscillatory to random and dimensionality ranges from 1 to 3D. The low loss for the center of mass motion of the beads could allow this system to serve as a standard many body testbed, similar to what is done today with atoms, but at the mesoscopic scale.
Jeremy Moore, Leopoldo L. Martin, Shai Maayani, Kyu Hyun Kim, Hengky Chandrahalim, Matt Eichenfield, Inocencio R. Martin, and Tal Carmon, "Regular oscillations and random motion of glass microspheres levitated by a single optical beam in air," Opt. Express, 24, 2016, pp. 2850-2857.