Physicists Create Water Tractor Beam

Written by: Lisa Stelzner

Primary Source: Daily Dose of Science Blog

A group of physicists have discovered that they can make objects move against the direction of waves by using a tractor beam on water, which generates waves. This has important real-world applications, including confining oil spills. The physicists do not yet know mathematical theories explaining how it works.  Dr. Horst Punzmann said ” . . . anyone in the bathtub can reproduce it. We were very surprised no one had described it before.”  His group determined which frequency and size of waves in a wave tank could move a ping-pong ball where they wanted.

The following two tabs change content below.
Lisa Stelzner
I'm a plant biology PhD student studying monarch butterflies in Michigan, but I'm interested in lots of other types of science, too. I am interested in how breeding monarch butterflies choose their habitat based on floral species richness and abundance. Few studies have been conducted on optimal foraging theory when it involves an organism searching for two different kinds of resources, and butterflies are an ideal study system to investigate this, since many species are ovipositing specialists and only lay eggs on one species of hostplant, but are feeding generalists and nectar from a broad variety of flowering forbs.