Through analytical modeling and numerical simulations the dynamic response and stability of dielectric lenses that are influenced by radiation pressure forces and torques is investigated. Radiation pressure forces and torques are applied to the system via momentum transfer between the laser beam light and lens. The 2D response of a rolling semi-cylindrical rod that is influenced by radiation pressure is simulated using constant and modulating light intensities. Stable oscillations and regions of stability in the motion of the semi-cylindrical rod are found for both a mirrored and non-mirrored rod. The results showed that at a critical intensity of 1.72 x 106 W/m2 and 12.81 x 106 W/m2 the mirrored and non-mirrored rods motion bifurcates and begins to show neutrally stable oscillations around some higher angular orientation. Lastly, it was shown that by sinusoidally modulating the laser intensity that the motion showed stable oscillations around previously unstable equilibrium angles of attack for a constant intensity.

The dynamics of a gravity-free 3D hemisphere that is influenced by radiation pressure is also considered. The motion of the system is analyzed to produce various types of gyroscopic motion. Using analytical and numerical techniques pure precessional motion along with looping, sinusoidal, and cuspsoidal nutation was shown. By first utilizing a closed loop PID controller, an open loop control algorithm was developed using an intensity time history from the closed loop system. The intensity time history was then applied to allow for angular position control of the hemisphere for a region of a 4D parameter space. The results showed that for a given parameter space approximately 25% of the initial condition parameter space allowed for the steady state angular position of the hemisphere to be within 5o of the incoming laser light direction.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dielectrics--Optical properties; Gyroscopes

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Mario W. Gomes

Advisor/Committee Member

Grover Swartzlander

Advisor/Committee Member

Stephen Boedo


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at QC585.7.R3 S38 2014


RIT – Main Campus

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