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Laser physicists from Australia have built a reversible tractor beam capable of retrieving tiny particles. It's nowhere near as strong as the beams portrayed in scifi, but it's the first long-distance optical tractor beam capable of moving particles one fifth of a millimeter in diameter a distance of up to 20cm. Scaled up, it could eventually be used to control atmospheric pollution.

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Image: Australian National University.

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DISCUSSION

DarthPumpkin

The only thing more cool than a working tractor beam is having "Laser Physicist" printed on your business cards.