Abstract:
A new theory for the dynamics of the magnetic particles and their magnetic moments in ferrofluids is developed. Based on a generalized Lagrangian formulation for the equations of motion of the colloidal particle, we introduce its interaction with the solvent fluid via dissipative and random noise torques, as well as the interactions between the particle and its magnetic moment, treated as an independent physical entity and characterized by three generalized coordinates, its two polar angles and its modulus. It has been recognized recently that inertial effects, as well as the particle's rotational Brownian motion, may play important roles on the dynamic susceptibility of a class of magnetic fluids. No satisfactory theory existed, up to now, that takes this effects into account. The theory presented here is a first-principles 3-dimensional approach, in contrast to some phenomenological 2-dimensional approaches that can be found in the recent literature. It is appropriate for superparamagnetic, non-superparamagnetic and mixed magnetic fluids. As a simple application, the blocked limit (magnetic moment fixed in the particle) is treated numerically. The rotational trajectory of the particles in presence of a magnetic field, as well as the response functions and dynamic susceptibility matrices are explicitly calculated for some values of the parameters

Abstract:
Some recent results on the rotational dynamics of polymers are reviewed and extended. We focus here on the relaxation of a polymer, either flexible or semiflexible, initially wrapped around a rigid rod. We also study the steady polymer rotation generated by a constant torque on the rod. The interplay of frictional and entropic forces leads to a complex dynamical behavior characterized by non-trivial universal exponents. The results are based on extensive simulations of polymers undergoing Rouse dynamics and on an analytical approach using force balance and scaling arguments. The analytical results are in general in good agreement with the simulations, showing how a simplified approach can correctly capture the complex dynamical behavior of rotating polymers.

Abstract:
The Rattleback is a very popular science toy shown to students all over the world to demonstrate the non-triviality of rotational motion. When spun on a horizontal table, this boat-shaped object behaves in a peculiar way. Although the object appears symmetric, the dynamics of its motion seem very asymmetric. When spun in the preferred direction, it spins smoothly, whereas in the other direction it starts to oscillate wildly. The oscillation soon dies out and the rattleback starts to spin in the preferred way. We will construct and go through an analytical model capable of explaining this behaviour in a simple and intelligible way. Although we aim at a semi-pedagogical treatise, we will study the details only when they are necessary to understand the calculation. After presenting the calculations we will discuss the physical validity of our assumptions and take a look at more sophisticated models requiring numerical analysis. We will then improve our model by assuming a simple friction force.

Abstract:
Nanoparticles with different surface morphologies that straddle the interface between two immiscible liquids are studied via molecular dynamics simulations. The methodology employed allows us to compute the interfacial free energy at different angular orientations of the nanoparticle. Due to their atomistic nature, the studied nanoparticles present both microscale and macroscale geometrical features and cannot be accurately modeled as a perfectly smooth body (e.g., spheres, cylinders). Under certain physical conditions, microscale features can produce free energy barriers that are much larger than the thermal energy of the surrounding media. The presence of these energy barriers can effectively "lock" the particle at specific angular orientations with respect to the liquid-liquid interface. This work provides new insights on the rotational dynamics of Brownian particles at liquid interfaces and suggests possible strategies to exploit the effects of microscale features with given geometric characteristics.

Abstract:
Molecular rotational spectroscopy based on strong-field-ionization-induced nitrogen laser is employed to investigate the time evolution of the rotational wave packet composed by a coherent superposition of quantum rotational states created in a field-free molecular alignment. We show that this technique uniquely allows real-time observation of the ultrafast dynamics of the individual rotational states in the rotational wavepacket. Our analysis also shows that there exist two channels of generation of the nitrogen laser, shedding new light on the population inversion mechanism behind the air laser generated by intense femtosecond laser pulses.

Abstract:
We present models for a heteronuclear diatomic molecular ion in a linear Paul trap in a rigid-rotor approximation, one purely classical, the other where the center-of-mass motion is treated classically while rotational motion is quantized. We study the rotational dynamics and their influence on the motion of the center-of-mass, in the presence of the coupling between the permanent dipole moment of the ion and the trapping electric field. We show that the presence of the permanent dipole moment affects the trajectory of the ion, and that it departs from the Mathieu equation solution found for atomic ions. For the case of quantum rotations, we also evidence the effect of the above-mentioned coupling on the rotational states of the ion.

Abstract:
The chemical and physical properties of molecular clusters can heavily depend on their size, which makes them very attractive for the design of new materials with tailored properties. Deriving the structure and dynamics of clusters is therefore of major interest in science. Weakly bound clusters can be studied using conventional spectroscopic techniques, but the number of lines observed is often too small for a comprehensive structural analysis. Impulsive alignment generates rotational wavepackets, which provides simultaneous information on structure and dynamics, as has been demonstrated successfully for isolated molecules. Here, we apply this technique for the firsttime to clusters comprising of a molecule and a single helium atom. By forcing the population of high rotational levels in intense laser fields we demonstrate the generation of rich rotational line spectra for this system, establishing the highly delocalised structure and the coherence of rotational wavepacket propagation. Our findings enable studies of clusters of different sizes and complexity as well as incipient superfluidity effects using wavepacket methods.

Abstract:
We present 236 new radial velocities of galaxies in the cluster A2256 measured with the WIYN Hydra multi-object spectrograph. Combined with the previous work of Fabricant, Kent, and Kurtz (1989), we have velocities for a total of 319 galaxies of which 277 are cluster members. In addition to the new radial velocities, we present a 3x3 image mosaic in the R band of the central 19'x19' region of A2256, from which we obtained photometry for 861 galaxies. These data provide strong evidence for a merger event between two groups. In addition, we present evidence for the presence of a third group, on the outer reaches of the system, that is just now beginning to merge with the system.

Abstract:
Using a high-sensitivity torsional oscillator technique, we mapped the rotational and relaxational dynamics of solid helium-4 throughout the parameter range of the proposed supersolidity. We found evidence that the same microscopic excitations controlling the torsional oscillator motions are generated independently by thermal and mechanical stimulation. Moreover, a measure for the relaxation times of these excitations diverges smoothly without any indication for a critical temperature or critical velocity of a supersolid transition. Finally, we demonstrated that the combined temperature-velocity dependence of the TO response is indistinguishable from the combined temperature-strain dependence of the solid's shear modulus. This implies that the rotational responses of solid helium-4 attributed to supersolidity are associated with generation of the same microscopic excitations as those produced by direct shear strain.

Abstract:
The optical trapping of polymeric nanofibers and the characterization of the rotational dynamics are reported. A strategy to apply a torque to a polymer nanofiber, by tilting the trapped fibers using a symmetrical linear polarized Gaussian beam is demonstrated. Rotation frequencies up to 10 Hz are measured, depending on the trapping power, the fiber length and the tilt angle. A comparison of the experimental rotation frequencies in the different trapping configurations with calculations based on optical trapping and rotation of linear nanostructures through a T-Matrix formalism, accurately reproduce the measured data, providing a comprehensive description of the trapping and rotation dynamics.