Often it is desirable to stabilize a system around an optimal state. This can be effectively accomplished using feedback control, where the system deviation from the desired state is measured in order to determine the magnitude of the restoring force to be applied. Contrary to conventional wisdom, i.e. that a more precise measurement is expected to improve the system stability, here we demonstrate that a certain degree of measurement error can improve the system stability. We exemplify the implications of this finding with numerical examples drawn from various fields, such as the operation of a temperature controller, the confinement of a microscopic particle, the localization of a target by a microswimmer, and the control of a population.
Jalpa Soni from the bioNaP lab at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India, joined the Soft Matter Lab on 1 June 2016 as a postdoctoral researcher.
Her PhD thesis, “Quantitative Mueller matrix polarimetry in biophotonics and nanoplasmonics”, deals with understanding the interaction of polarized
light in various biophotonic and plasmonic systems. She studied both fundamental effects such as understanding spin-orbit interaction (SOI) of light and polarization dependent beam shifts as well as various practical applications involving biological systems.
At the Soft Matter Lab, she will work on a project related to the realisation of a microscopic heat engine using optical tweezers and noisy electric fields.