A First- Functioning Acoustic Tractor Beam Created
If you think that tractor beams are limited to science fiction then you are highly mistaken. Researchers from Dundee University have made it a reality by developing the first functioning acoustic tractor beam.
Tractor beam, a term coined by E. Smith in his novel Spacehounds of IPC (1931), is a device having the ability to attract one object to another from a distance.
Working in unison with researchers from Southampton University and Illinois Wesleyan University, the Dundee researchers have utilized energy from an ultrasound array to apply force behind an object and drag it towards the energy source.
Dr. Christine Demore from the Institute for Medical Science and Technology at Dundee was of the view, "This is the first time anyone has demonstrated a working acoustic tractor beam and the first time such a beam has been used to move anything bigger than microscopic targets".
Through their demonstration, researchers have explained how force can be applied on an object to make the same one centimeter in dimension to move or hold. All this is possible with the help of two beams of energy from ultrasound array that focused on the back side of the object.
The ultrasound device used in the experiment was clinically approved for detailed MRI-guided ultrasound surgery. Though the concept would definitely attract the attention of scientific experts, Dr. Demore said their creation has capability to further develop clinical projects.
The experiment formed the part of a £3.6 million programme having experts from four UK universities, Dundee, Glasgow, Bristol and Southampton along with industrial partners.
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