Control of the potential energy and free evolution lie at the heart of levitodynamics as key requirements for sensing, wave function expansion, and mechanical squeezing protocols. Here, we experimentally demonstrate versatile control over the optical potential governing the libration motion of a levitated anisotropic nanoparticle. This control is achieved by introducing the degree of polarization as a new tool for rotational levitodynamics. We demonstrate thermally driven free rotation of a levitated anisotropic scatterer around its short axis and we use the rotational degrees of freedom to probe the local spin of a strongly focused laser beam.
- Received 11 January 2023
- Revised 7 March 2023
- Accepted 4 April 2023
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Atomic, Molecular & OpticalInterdisciplinary Physics