Researchers have developed a technology for light levitation of objects

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Researchers have developed a way to levitate and move objects using only light, creating special nanoscale patterns on their surface..

Previously, scientists have already managed to achieve the movement of nanoparticles using radiation pressure from a laser beam, but this method operates at a very short distance and does not allow manipulating macro-objects. However, a team from Howard Hughes laboratory, together with scientists from two other American research institutes, presented a paper describing the technology of controlling objects of various shapes and sizes using a directed beam of light..

Researchers have developed a technology for light levitation of objects

The bottom line is to create certain nano-patterns on the surface. They have a specific structure, due to which, interacting with light, the object aligns its position when deflected, creating a restorative moment in order to be held in the beam. As a result, there is no need for a focused laser, since the structure of the object itself provides «customization» sustainability. In this case, the light source can be located millions of kilometers.

Conceptual illustration of a nano-patterned object reorienting to stay in a beam of light.

Although this work is still theoretical, scientists say that in the future the technology will help speed up some manufacturing processes, for example, the manufacture of microcircuits..

Researchers have developed a technology for light levitation of objects

Another application of the concept could be the creation of a new generation of spacecraft covered with nanoscale structures. They do not need fuel to move, but they will be able to develop incredibly high speed, sufficient to travel to other solar systems. Initially, it will be possible to launch such ships into orbit using a laser..

Scientist Explains How to Levitate Objects With Sound | WIRED

Earlier, we reported that scientists from MIT presented the technology transmitting sound using a laser directly to the human ear without requiring any device to receive the signal.

text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Unsplash, Atwater laboratory

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