Liquid transport due to light scattering

Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Mar 30;98(13):133601. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.133601. Epub 2007 Mar 28.


Using experiments and theory, we show that light scattering by inhomogeneities in the index of refraction of a fluid can drive a large-scale flow. The experiment uses a near-critical, phase-separated liquid, which experiences large fluctuations in its index of refraction. A laser beam traversing the liquid produces a interface deformation on the scale of the experimental setup and can cause a liquid jet to form. We demonstrate that the deformation is produced by a scattering-induced flow by obtaining good agreements between the measured deformations and those calculated assuming this mechanism.