Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Nanoscale Tractor Beam

A laser beam can push a nanoscale particle away with the pressure of its photons, but the particle may also be drawn toward the light when other particles are nearby--like the "tractor beams" of science fiction--according to a theory in the June Physical Review B. The theory also predicts that in the presence of light, two particles can attract or repel one another, and that a third particle can amplify the force between the first two by 100 times. The work suggests ways of manipulating particles that may be used to build nano-devices or nano-composite materials.

No comments: