Exploiting the color of Brownian motion for high-frequency microrheology of Newtonian fluids
Einstein's stochastic description of the random movement of small objects in a fluid, i.e. Brownian motion, reveals to be quite different, when observed on short timescales. The limitations of Einstein's theory with respect to particle inertia and hydrodynamic memory yield to the apparition of a colored frequency-dependent component in the spectrum of the thermal forces, which is called "the color of Brownian motion". The knowledge of the characteristic timescales of the motion of a trapped microsphere motion in a Newtonian fluid allowed to develop a high-resolution calibration method for optical interferometry. Well-calibrated correlation quantities, such as the mean square displacement or the velocity autocorrelation function, permit to study the mechanical properties of fluids at high frequencies. These properties are estimated by microrheological calculations based on the theoretical relations between the complex mobility of the beads and the rheological properties of a complex fluid.