Thursday, March 03, 2011

BBC News - 'Tractor beam' is possible with lasers, say scientists

Oh wait – I thought this was part of the long-lead iPad 3 feature prediction cycle…

A laser can act as a "tractor beam", drawing small objects back toward the laser's source, scientists have said.

It is known that light can provide a "push", for example in solar sails that propel spacecraft on a "wind of light".

Now, in a paper on the Arxiv server, researchers from Hong Kong and China have calculated the conditions required to create a laser-based "pull".

BBC News - 'Tractor beam' is possible with lasers, say scientists

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