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Posted by on Oct 22, 2012 in Science |

Scientists succeed in creating a ‘tractor beam’ can attract objects

Scientists succeed in creating a 'tractor beam' can attract objects

Two scientists from the University of New York developed a technique to build a ‘tractor beam’, which was able to attract silicon spheres 30 micrometers in diameter floating in the water through its beam.

The technique uses Bessel beams , a type of which has an amplitude that draws a Bessel function of the first kind , and that issues its ‘rays’ in the form of concentric rings (instead of following the path of a line) with the property that its light is diffracted when your path is blocked by an object, which ends up generating an electromagnetic field capable of attracting a particle.

Last year, a team of Chinese scientists calculated that it was possible to point to a Bessel beam to calibrate a particle and a specific form for each wave, in the form of a ring, ‘push’ towards the particle source, which would result in a “tractor beam”.

When the team from the University of New York failed to accurately adjust the Bessel lightning calculated by Chinese scientists found that using two sources, with a lens that bounces and overcome-stroboscopic effect is achieved that is capable having sufficient energy to push a particle in the direction of the original light source.

To the human eye, this would be a ‘tractor beam’ similar to those used in the spaceships of fiction. Unfortunately, like almost all amazing discoveries on a microscopic scale, the results are virtually unplayable on our scale as it would require too much energy. But hey, at least we know it’s possible.

Optical conveyors: A class of active tractor beams (Physics Department, New York University)
Physics duo create dual tractor beam using Bessel beams (

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