Home » Uncategorized » Hong Kong Scientists Inch Closer Toward Real Tractor Beams
tractor-beam

Hong Kong Scientists Inch Closer Toward Real Tractor Beams

Every Star Trek geek has dreamed of this day. We’ve all dreamed of setting our phasers to stun and making use of the Holodeck. Those two innovations aren’t quite here, but it seems like we’re getting closer to tractor beams.

Unlike regular lasers that push things away by plastic them with photons, a tractor beam would effectively be a laser that pulls things toward them. To do this, the Hong Kong scientists need something called a Bessel beam.

Also unlike regular lasers, Bessel beams remain focused at an infinite distance, rather than dispersing as it gets away from its source. Perhaps more interestingly, the Bessel beam is able to reconstruct itself past obstacles. It cannot be blocked.

Without digging too much into the science side of things, what this means it that scientists may be able to generate a large enough concentration of energy on the far side of the object and minimize the concentration of energy on the near side. The net result: the object is “pushed” toward the origin of the Bessel beam.

That’s some crazy stuff. Too bad, for now, it sounds like this is all theory and no practice. Where is Locutus of Borg when you need him?

[Giz via Arxiv.org]

Photo: Thomas Harriman

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

Check Also

wii-oculus-rift-hoverboard

Try Oculus Rift And Wii To Roam Around On The Back To The Future Hoverboard

Check out how you can fly in virtual space by using an Oculus Rift and a Wii Balance Board.

131129-amz

Amazon Appstore for Android Holiday Deals, Including Free Apps

There are tons of deals from the Amazon Appstore that will be offered starting now and throughout the holiday shopping season. They say that they will have "hundreds of titles that are eitehr free... or available between 50-90% off" the regular price.

131129-google

Black Friday: Google Play Store Apps, Games and Content on Sale All Weekend

Case in point, if you head over to the Google Play Store right now, you'll find that Google is celebrating all Cyber Weekend with discounts on all sorts of content. This includes many popular apps and games

131129-gtab

Black Friday Deal: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-Inch for $100 Off

Did you manage to score any epic Black Friday deals this morning? Are you still ...

131128-diy

Arduino Co-Creator Releases Plans for $200 DIY Mobile Phone

Mellis was one of the people who came up with the now hugely popular Arduino platform and now he has come up with plans for people to build their own cell phone for about $200 in parts.

131128-apple

No Discounts for Apple Black Friday, Just Free Gift Cards

If you were hoping to save yourself some cash as you brave the Black Friday shopping crowds, you'll want to go somewhere other than the official Apple Stores.