January 25, 2013

Physicists Pull Particles with Tractor Beam

Tim Wogan, Physics World

AP Photo

The idea that light can grab hold of objects may sound like science fiction, but optical tweezers that hold particles at a laser focus are widely used today. An even more fictional-sounding concept is the tractor beam – a beam of light or sound that can pull an object towards it. Over the past three years or so, physicists have shown that tractor beams are theoretically possible – and there has been a flurry of activity in the lab to try to build one.

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TAGGED: Optics, Particles, Photonics, Tractor Beam


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