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Archive for the ‘tractor beam’ category

Jul 14, 2021

Acoustic Tractor Beam Can Grab Objects From Behind Obstacles

Posted by in categories: holograms, tractor beam

An acoustic tractor beam that can bend sound around an obstacle to levitate an object on the other side has been created by researchers in the UK. Dubbed SoundBender, the device combines an ultrasound transducer array with an acoustic metamaterial.

In recent years, researchers have used transducer arrays to build sonic tractor beams that can create complex acoustic holograms to manipulate objects in mid-air. Acoustic metamaterials are engineered materials with structural properties that do not usually occur naturally. They have been used to produce acoustic holograms, bend beams of sound and create static acoustic levitation devices. But the team behind the SoundBender, based at the University of Sussex, say that these technologies have key limitations.

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Jun 23, 2021

Enhancement of the ‘tractor-beam’ pulling force on an optically bound structure

Posted by in category: tractor beam

Circa 2017


Recently, increasing attention has been devoted to mastering a new technique of optical delivery of micro-objects tractor-beam’1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Such beams have uniform intensity profiles along their propagation direction and can exert a negative force that, in contrast to the familiar pushing force associated with radiation pressure, pulls the scatterer toward the light source. It was experimentally observed that under certain circumstances, the pulling force can be significantly enhanced6 if a non-spherical scatterer, for example, a linear chain of optically bound objects10, 11, 12, is optically transported. Here we demonstrate that motion of two optically bound objects in a tractor beam strongly depends on theirs mutual distance and spatial orientation. Such configuration-dependent optical forces add extra flexibility to our ability to control matter with light.

Sep 16, 2020

Light-based ‘tractor beam’ assembles materials at the nanoscale

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, nanotechnology, quantum physics, tractor beam

Modern construction is a precision endeavor. Builders must use components manufactured to meet specific standards — such as beams of a desired composition or rivets of a specific size. The building industry relies on manufacturers to create these components reliably and reproducibly in order to construct secure bridges and sound skyscrapers.

Now imagine construction at a smaller scale — less than 1/100th the thickness of a piece of paper. This is the nanoscale. It is the scale at which scientists are working to develop potentially groundbreaking technologies in fields like quantum computing. It is also a scale where traditional fabrication methods simply will not work. Our standard tools, even miniaturized, are too bulky and too corrosive to reproducibly manufacture components at the nanoscale.

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a method that could make reproducible manufacturing at the nanoscale possible. The team adapted a light-based technology employed widely in biology — known as optical traps or optical tweezers — to operate in a water-free liquid environment of carbon-rich organic solvents, thereby enabling new potential applications.

Mar 14, 2020

We’re not saying Earth is doomed… but 139 minor planets were spotted at the outer reaches of our Solar System. Just an FYI, that’s all

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space, tractor beam

A simple tractor beam can pull them away like a higgs boson tractor beam.


Too bad they are likely uninhabitable.

Jan 22, 2020

Physicists Develop Reversible Laser Tractor Beam Functional Over Long Distances

Posted by in categories: entertainment, particle physics, space travel, tractor beam

Circa 2015


Spaceships in movies and TV shows routinely use tractor beams to tow other vessels or keep them in place. Physicists have been hard at work trying take this technology from science fiction to reality. Significant process has recently been made by a team who have developed a laser tractor beam able to attract and repel particles about 100 times further than has been previously achieved. The lead author of the paper, published in Nature Photonics, is Vladlen Shvedov at Australian National University in Canberra.

Other recent tractor beams have used acoustics or water, but this one uses a single laser beam to control tiny particles about 0.2 millimeters in diameter. The tractor beam was able to manipulate the particles from a distance of 20 centimeters, shattering previous records. Despite this incredible distance, the researchers claim it is still on the short end of what is possible for this tractor beam technique.

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Jul 8, 2018

Scientists Just Used a Tractor Beam to Levitate the Largest Object Yet

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, tractor beam

The world’s most powerful tractor beam just lifted a 2 centimeter ball, but could it make levitating humans a reality?

One Shot Could Provide All the Vaccines You’ll Ever Need — https://youtu.be/qQ1VKYX4Vl0

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Jan 31, 2018

Tornadoes Of Sound Can Levitate Physical Objects

Posted by in categories: innovation, tractor beam

This tractor beam breakthrough means humans are one step closer to levitation. (via Seeker)

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Jan 22, 2018

This Breakthrough in Tractor Beam Tech Could Pave The Way to Levitating Humans

Posted by in categories: particle physics, tractor beam

In a sci-fi feeling first, engineers at the University of Bristol used the world’s most powerful acoustic tractor beam to demonstrate that it’s possible to stably contain objects larger than the wavelength of sound.

In other words, they were able to levitate objects notably larger than what’s ever been possible before; a feat that theoretically opens up the potential of one day levitating humans.

Acoustic tractor beams use sound, or more specifically soundwaves, to hold particles in mid-air. While magnetic levitation also exists, acoustic levitation tends to work better for handling liquids and solids.

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Jan 22, 2018

Tractor Beam Can Levitate Humans With ‘Sound Tornadoes’

Posted by in category: tractor beam

Acoustic researchers had been frustrated by the size limit for years, so it’s satisfying to find a way to overcome it.”

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Jan 22, 2018

The world’s most powerful acoustic tractor beam could pave the way for levitating humans

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, tractor beam, transportation

Acoustic tractor beams use the power of sound to hold particles in mid-air, and unlike magnetic levitation, they can grab most solids or liquids. For the first time University of Bristol engineers have shown it is possible to stably trap objects larger than the wavelength of sound in an acoustic tractor beam. This discovery opens the door to the manipulation of drug capsules or micro-surgical implements within the body. Container-less transportation of delicate larger samples is now also a possibility and could lead to levitating humans.

Researchers previously thought that acoustic tractor beams were fundamentally limited to levitating small objects as all the previous attempts to trap particles larger than the wavelength had been unstable, with objects spinning uncontrollably. This is because rotating field transfers some of its spinning motion to the objects causing them to orbit faster and faster until they are ejected.

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