OSA | Living History

An artist’s rendering of DNA held by two beads trapped in optical tweezers.

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Optical Tweezers

In the 1970s and 1980s, Bell Labs researcher Arthur Ashkin and colleagues devised various laser arrangements to hold and manipulate microscopic particles.

Using these optical tweezers, Ashkin trapped viruses and bacteria. Optical tweezers are an important tool in both biology and physics. (Photo: John Newhart / OSA)

(Courtesy of John Newhart / OSA)