Tractor Beam

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Tractor Beam
Researchers Design a Tractor Beam Powered By Lasers

There's no escaping it: Though the tractor beam is a staple of sci-fi space-faring scenarios, it's also extremely counter-intuitive. How does one pull something in via an outward-shooting beam?

A few Chinese researchers think they've found the answer via a theoretical method that should generate a backward-pulling force from a forward-traveling stream of photons. ( Read Tractor Beam more... )

Scientists Work To Create Laser 'Tractor Beam'

The tractor beam -- a tool popularized in the realm of science fiction -- has been slowly making its way into the realm of reality, where beams of light are used to pull objects back toward the source of the light, BBC News reports.

In a paper published online, researchers from Hong Kong and China have analyzed and calculated the conditions required to create a tractor beam, or in reality, a laser-based “pull.”

Unlike the ones popularized in science fiction -- most notably Star Trek -- the approach would only work over very small distances. ( Read Tractor Beam more... )

How To Turn A Laser Into A Tractor Beam

Physicists work out how to generate a backward pulling force from a forward propagating beam

A photon has a small momentum which it can impart to anything it hits, as Arthur Compton and Peter Lebedev discovered at the beginning of the last century. We now know that photons can be used to push anything from electrons to solar sails.

Today, Jun Chen from Fudan University in China and a few pals demonstrate the counterintuitive result that photons can pull things too. In other words, they've worked out how to generate a backward pulling force from a forward propagating beam.

A photon has a small momentum which it can impart to anything it hits, as Arthur Compton and Peter Lebedev discovered at the beginning of the last century. We now know that photons can be used to push anything from electrons to solar sails.

Today, Jun Chen from Fudan University in China and a few pals demonstrate the counterintuitive result that photons can pull things too. In other words, they've worked out how to generate a backward pulling force from a forward propagating beam. ( Read Tractor Beam more... )

Researchers figure out how to make a tractor beam

Researchers at the Fudan University of China believe they have worked out the theory behind creating a tractor beam from a laser.

Such a thing is difficult to imagine outside of science fiction, and of course Star Wars and Star Trek, as it involves getting a pulling force generated from a “forward propagating beam”. ( Read Tractor Beam more... )

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. ( Read Tractor Beam more... )

Courtesy : FOX News , Red Orbit , Technology Review , Geek & NewScienties

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