Physicists demonstrate an actual tractor beam in the lab

It seems like we're getting closer to the Star Trek future by leaps and bounds these days. We recently learned that a NASA scientist has set his sights on building a warp drive, and now news has come in that a team of physicists have built their own tractor beam in the lab. Now, it's nothing to get too excited over —… » 10/24/12 2:40pm 10/24/12 2:40pm

Could we be on the verge of inventing tractor beams?

Ferengi smugglers shake in their boots as the first step towards tractor beams is announced. In the past, lasers have been used only to impart forward momentum to their targets. They hit objects with photons, and those objects move forward with the beam of light (or burst into flame). Now scientists in Hong Kong have… » 3/03/11 4:30pm 3/03/11 4:30pm

Model spacecraft demonstrates the real-world principles behind a tractor beam

Joseph Shoer of Cornell University has built a levitating model spacecraft to demonstrate how a tractor beam could potentially work in real life. In the video, Shoer uses a "ludicrous" neodymium magnet to manipulate his non-ferromagnetic model which floats on air. Says Shoer of his experiment: » 2/07/11 5:24pm 2/07/11 5:24pm