Influence of noise on force measurements

Giovanni Volpe, Laurent Helden, Thomas Brettschneider, Jan Wehr, Clemens Bechinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Scopus citations


We demonstrate how the ineluctable presence of thermal noise alters the measurement of forces acting on microscopic and nanoscopic objects. We quantify this effect exemplarily for a Brownian particle near a wall subjected to gravitational and electrostatic forces. Our results demonstrate that the force-measurement process is prone to artifacts if the noise is not correctly taken into account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number170602
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Apr 28 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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