The Millennium Falcon was pulled into the Death Star, leading to odd YouTube videos and a generation wondering if any of this could ever actually happen. Well, scientists have followed through on testing the Bessel beam and now say a tractor beam is a very real possibility for the future.
Tractor beams are one of those sci-fi staples that, when you get right down to it, are actually pretty hard to wrap your head around: it's a force that projects outward, and yet it pulls an object inward. Crazy as it is, Chinese researchers may have just figured out how to do just that.
Tractor beams, the sort of thing that large spaceships use to pull in smaller spaceships in sci-fi movies, are no longer in the realm of fantasy. Yes, researchers at the Australian National University have created a device that can move small particles multiple feet using only light. Wow.