Aussies Invent Tractor Beam: Future Gets Nerdier

Posted: Sep 10 2010, 11:17am CDT | by , in News | Technology News

Aussies Invent Tractor Beam: Future Gets Nerdier
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World inches closer to Star Trek.

Australia made science roughly 300% cooler today, when researchers there announced that they had a working tractor beam. The technology is still in its infancy, so this thing can only move particles around 1.5 meters. Researchers are confident they can boost that to 10 meters.

The baby-tractor-beam works by shining a hollow laser beam at a particle. It heats up the air around the beam but not the air inside it, which draws the particle in the direction of the beam. Speed and direction can be changed by altering the laser's brightness.

Who knows, in 50 years we could be using tractor beams for delicate surgery or hazardous material work. It's truly exciting to see the first emergence of a technology with such broad-reacing implications.

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