posted on Oct, 19 2012 @ 02:41 PM
Stand aside, Wesley Crusher: there's a new tractor beam on deck that pulls objects using nothing more than laser light. The device has already
grabbed NASA's attention as it could one day prove useful on space missions.
It is well known that light can push on objects – this is the basis for using solar sailsMovie Camera to propel a spacecraft. But getting light to
pull on something is a bit trickier.
The beginnings of the tractor beam? star trek sure got a lot of things correct (communicators/warp theory etc)
Or is it simply a case of if we can 'Think it' we can eventually find a way of doing it.
David Ruffner and David Grier of New York University instead projected two Bessel beams side by side and used a lens to angle them so that they
overlapped, creating a pattern of alternating bright and dark regions.
Fine-tuning the beam caused photons in the bright regions to scatter toward the beam source, pushing a particle in the beam to the next bright region.
The beam thus acts like a conveyer belt, constantly drawing the particle toward the source.
"NASA contacted us," says Ruffner. "They were wondering, can we put this on a space probe and get dust from a comet?" It is possible, he says, but
not any time soon. "This is still very much in its infancy."
slowly slowly, once a technology is proven to work it is only a matter of time before it can be scaled up , size / effect and power will eventually
increase, new technologies will be built, allowing this to happen..
maybe this could even be used to clear all the space junk from earth like a cosmic sweeping brush.. who knows...