Tags: physicists | laser | tractor | beam

Physicists' Laser Tractor Beam Moves Particle in Breakthrough

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 10:13 AM

A laser tractor beam built by Australian physicists has moved a spherical glass particle one-fifth of a millimeter in diameter a distance of nearly 8 inches — 100 times further than previous experiments.

"Demonstration of a large scale laser beam like this is a kind of holy grail for laser physicists," said Professor Wieslaw Krolikowski of the Research School of Physics and Engineering at The Australian National University. His team published the findings of their experiments in the journal Nature on Sunday.

Past researchers exploring tractor beams have used photon momentum to move microscopic particles small distances, however the researchers at ANU used heat to move gold-coated hollow glass particles.

The beam they used is hollow in the middle, which cradles the spherical particles. By intensifying the heat on one edge of the beam, scientists can control the direction the particle is pushed.

"We have devised a technique that can create unusual states of polarisation in the doughnut shaped laser beam, such as star-shaped (axial) or ring polarised (azimuthal)," said researcher Cyril Hnatovsky. "We can move smoothly from one polarisation to another and thereby stop the particle or reverse its direction at will."

According to The Daily Mail, the tractor beam could, once more fully developed, help humans move pollution particles from the atmosphere, or help in the retrieval of particles hazardous to humans.

The scientists said that the new development represents a big leap forward in the development of remote retrieval technology. With just a few more of those leaps, we might soon have a reliable tractor beam that works in the field.

"Because lasers retain their beam quality for such long distances, this could work over meters. Our lab just was not big enough to show it," said co-author Vladlen Shvedov.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
A laser tractor beam built by Australian physicists has moved a spherical glass particle one-fifth of a millimeter in diameter a distance of nearly 8 inches — 100 times further than previous experiments.
physicists, laser, tractor, beam
293
2014-13-21
Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 10:13 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved