Physicists Manipulate Waves To Make Tractor Beam
Scientists studying how floating particles move on the surface of water have come up with a way to pull them in, push them away or make them stay still. They can now precisely control objects by generating waves with specified frequency and amplitude.
The work by Australian National University researchers might find use in cleaning up oil spills. It could also lead to a better understanding of how moving water develops into rip currents.
"We have figured out a way of creating waves that can force a floating object to move against the direction of the wave," said physicist Horst Punzmann, who led the research. "No one could have guessed this result."