Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Real Life Tractor Beams!

Ok, before you start to fantasize about Star Trek gleaming beams able to pull huge ships from even more amazing distances, we are talking about something on a much smaller scale. Like microscopic least until recently.

From the article:
  • Researchers from the Australian National University have announced that they have built a device that can move small particles a meter and a half using only the power of light.
But lets put this in perspective. Up until recently, researchers could only move tiny particles over minuscule distances. By comparison, the power of A.N.U.'s device is thousands of times more powerful.

And how they accomplish this feat is in itself awe inspiring itself! A.N.U. starts with a hollow laser beam. Yes I said hollow. This hollow beam is focused around a glass bead. As the bead drifts closer to the walls of the laser, heat is produced forcing the bead back towards the center. The air in the darker center is also heated by the laser forcing the bead down the center of the beam. To force the bead back in the other direction, the team simply focuses another laser into the dark center in front of the bead, controlling it's x y and z axis and over much larger distances!

Read complete physorg article here

1 comment:

AmandaRose said...
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