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Physicists create laser ‘tractor’ beam that operates at distances 100x greater than before and can repel objects
Laser physicists have built a tractor beam that can repel and attract objects, using a hollow laser beam that is bright around the edges and dark in its centre.
It is the first long-distance optical tractor beam and moved particles one fifth of a millimetre in diameter a distance of up to 20 centimetres, around 100 times further than previous experiments.
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Vladlen Shvedov, Arthur R. Davoyan, Cyril Hnatovsky, Nader Engheta, Wieslaw Krolikowski. A long-range polarization-controlled optical tractor beam. Nature Photonics, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2014.242