Mini medical tractor beam
January 25, 2013 |
I’m an unashamed Trekkie, so I was excited to hear of a real-life tractor beam.
Here’s how it works… Normally, beams of light – made up of particles called photons – push objects forwards and away. But scientists have managed to reverse that process, by crossing two lasers to form an X shape. Where the beams cross, the ‘pushing force’ is cancelled out. So microscopic objects in the beam are then able to recoil from the photons in front and move backwards.
Scotty wouldn’t be impressed, but I sure am!
This research appears in the 25 January 2013 issue of the journal Nature Photonics.
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