Researchers at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have now proven the theory
Last year, we looked at three potential “tractor beam” technologies being evaluated by NASA to deliver planetary or atmospheric particles to a robotic rover or orbiting spacecraft. At the time, the third of these, which involved the use of a Bessel beam, only existed on paper. Researchers at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have now proven the theory behind the concept, demonstrating how a tractor beam can be realized in the real world – albeit on a very small scale.
Haifeng Wang at the A*STAR Data Storage Institute and colleagues studied the properties of Bessel beams, which, unlike normal laser beams, don’t diffract or spread out as they propagate. While light will usually be scattered backwards when a laser beam hits a small particle in its path, pushing the particle forward, the A*STAR team showed theoretically that light from a Bessel beam scatters off particles that are sufficiently small in a forward direction. This means that the particle is pulled back towards the observer.
via Gizmag – Darren Quick
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