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Science & Technology

Scientists develop "tractor beam"

By T.K. Randall
September 10, 2010 · Comment icon 8 comments

Image Credit: Novosibirsk University
Like something out of Star Trek scientists have succeeded in developing a functional tractor beam using lasers.
While the technology has only been used on tiny particles so far physicists believe that the same technique could be used to move a large object five feet with the potential to increase that by scaling up the apparatus.
Scientists have invented a tractor beam which is able to move large objects longer distances than ever before by using a laser light. A team of researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra have brought the art of molecular transportation, made famous by the catchphrase 'Beam me up, Scotty' from the TV series Star Trek, a fraction closer.

Source: Daily Mail | Comments (8)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Purplos 13 years ago
That is so amazing.
Comment icon #2 Posted by kurethmu 13 years ago
Now we're one more step to the Galaga becoming a reality!
Comment icon #3 Posted by farandaway 13 years ago
Tractor beam tech and transporter tech are two different things people. Moving heavy objects from one place to another using lasers would be amazing. Reducing a human to their components and rematerializing them over vast distances would be even more amazing!!
Comment icon #4 Posted by jimmylee 13 years ago
I just read about a website that transports you to a random location on the planet via Google Street View. I have fun envisioning something like this if/when human teleportation becomes a reality. http://boingboing.net/2010/09/07/globe-genie-random-t.html
Comment icon #5 Posted by meankitty 13 years ago
I can't wait for the large scale version
Comment icon #6 Posted by booNyzarC 13 years ago
I wonder if something like this would be effective at getting my tired keister from the bed to the shower on Monday mornings... Seriously though, very cool research. Thanks for posting it up Still Waters.
Comment icon #7 Posted by pengiun 13 years ago
I know practicaly nothing about this techknowledgey but what if you used lasers just like you do in a blue ray player with four or five lasers aimed at diffrent piont along the tube in diffrent angles and have two lasers in the same direction with a small space causing a tube within a tubeone going clock wise and on anti clock wise I recken you'd get a stable tube with compartments to hold individule objects or at least a targeted system of movement.by moving the range of the lasers around the tube drawing the material forward ?!
Comment icon #8 Posted by Druidus-Logos 13 years ago
This is amazing news. Yet another win for Still Waters! I hope this technology can be GREATLY amplified. Imagine if we could "tractor" mineral/metal asteroids into close orbit around Earth? Or asteroids with incredibly rare compounds? We need to shift our mining off planet anyway, and this would be the best way to do it. We'd build an industrial asteroid belt around our planet, and basically have workers live up there for long periods of time, coming back for breaks (like current Alberta Oil Sands workers, or other month-on-two-weeks-off workers). They'd hollow the asteroids out, collecting al... [More]

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