Trek-like tractor beam is possible

In Star Trek, the starship Enterprise often dragged objects towards it with its glowing tractor beam. Now there’s a way to do this in real life – at least for very small particles.

When light falls on an opaque object, the surface reflects most of the photons back in the direction they came from. What’s less obvious is that these bouncing photons push back on the object, causing it to move away from the light source. If the object is very small, this push can be significant. But this is the exact opposite of the suction-like behaviour of tractor beams in science fiction.

Now Jun Chen of Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and colleagues, have shown that it is possible to create exotic beams that would pull rather than push on an object. For tiny particles with dimensions of a thousandth of a millimetre or so, this would result in the particle being drawn back towards the beam.

YESSSSSS. Next stop: transwarp beaming yo! ( I hope in my secretest of hearts.)

  1. thelivingandthededalus reblogged this from reezoo and added:
    WHOA! Watch out!
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