Tuesday, July 08, 2014
This Is Gonna Be A Real Short Trip
In recent years, scientists have used lasers to construct crude tractor beams that, one day, might be used as grappling hooks in space. Now, for the first time, physicists have succeeded in creating the same effect using water.
Thanks to Star Trek and Star Wars, the term "tractor beam" immediately conjures up images of spacecraft ensnaring one another with beams of energy. But, at its most basic, a tractor beam is a way to use a forward-propagating force to pull an object backwards. You can do that with photons or—as a new study by Horst Punzmann at the Australian National University reveals—you can do it with water waves.
Yeah, okay, that's cool. But I really need a tractor beam to grab Sadie as she's tormenting the kittens. So hurry up, Science.
July 8, 2014 | Permalink
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I need a tractor beam to plow the back 40!
Oh, er...that's not what you meant.
Posted by: Rmj | Jul 8, 2014 10:00:15 AM