Friday, February 1, 2013

Scientists Create a Working Tractor Beam

Sci-Fi fans have another reason to rejoice in our constant advancement in technology. Two NYU professors wrote a technique to develop the first working 'tractor beam.' The technique supposedly harnesses a form of light beam called "Bessel beams" to attract matter towards the source of light, according to the research paper entitled "Optical Conveyors: A Class of Active Tractor Beams."

Scientists David Ruffner and David Grier explain in their paper how the technique can pull silica spheres toward a laser source. Granted, these spheres are about 30 micrometers in size, and they need to be suspended in water in order for the process to work, but this small-scale version is the first step toward taking an enemy ship hostage in your cargo bay.

True geeks can read the NYU research paper here.

- Caleb Smith
Tech Editor

Image: Gizmodo


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