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Tractor Beam Team Transfers Particles With Laser 'Pipeline'

Tractor Beam TeamScientists have already discovered methods of instantly teleporting information between atoms, and ways of moving molecules using only light and lasers. Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have expanded on those groundbreaking developments by recently transporting particles of a relatively massive size across unprecedented distances.

ANU's teleportation enterprise essentially relies on a laser device that projects a hollow beam. According to the researchers, the beam traps light-absorbing particles. After going through processes involving a "dark core," "photophoretic force" and "gravity, air currents and random motions of air molecules," the trapped particles trek along the "hollow laser pipeline" for distances up to 5 feet.

In terms of practical applications, the scientists believe the technology could provide revolutionary benefits in manipulating sample materials without contaminating them, and in moving dangerous or minute substances. While interstellar applications currently appear out of reach -- due to the vacuum of space -- somewhere out in the ether, James Doohan is absolutely beaming.

Tags: australian national university, AustralianNationalUniversity, lasers, research, science, star trek, StarTrek, top, tractor beam, TractorBeam