Saturday, 7 November 2015

The tractor beam of Star Trek and Star Wars has become reality

Live from science fiction, in the laboratories of the University of Bristol and the Sussex was built the first device that can grasp and lift an object with waves sonoreIn direct from science fiction, in the laboratories of the University of Bristol and the Sussex was built first device that can grasp and lift an object with sound waves. For now works with tiny objects, and certainly will never capture spaceships but the study published in Nature Communications is the proof of principle of the ability to move objects without physical contact and may one day allow, for example, to drive capsules of drugs or micro instruments Surgical through the human body. The concept behind the 'radius' tractor created by British researchers is rather simple and uses acoustic waves, ie vibrations that propagate in the air, that they are sufficiently intense can push a small object. The winning idea was to harness the power of the waves using many sources of different sounds and controllable. In practice the researchers placed 64 well micro speakers on a flat and found the right combinations of sounds whose vibrations 'entangled' with each other are able not only to push a small object but to manipulate it at will. "We already knew that the sound waves can have physical effects on objects - said Bruce Drinkwater, of the University of Bristol - but in this case we have learned to control the sound to new heights." The result is a device that can create move two small objects of up to 1 mm, until they touch, rotate them, attract them or keep them suspended in the air. "Our tool - said Sriram Subramanian, University of Sussex - manipulate objects in the air seemingly eliminating the gravity. We do this by controlling individually dozens of boxes that generate a 'hologram noise' that can manipulate more than one object real-time and without touching them. " Trap as spaceships in Star Trek would not be possible, because the sound waves do not propagate in a vacuum, but this new technology could find applications in many areas where it is important not to contaminate objects. For example, to combine chemical molecules 'pure' or to carry a day medication within the human body in a perfectly controlled.

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