Scientists Create First Water Tractor Beam

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Geo Beats
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Scientists in Australia have created a water tractor beam that they believe could someday be helpful in cleaning up oil spills and debris.

Scientists in Australia have created a water tractor beam that they believe could someday be helpful in cleaning up oil spills and debris.

Tractor beams are typically laser arrays found in the world of science fiction. They’re the technology used to to pull space ships onto larger crafts and suck cows up into UFOs.

As of late, there’s been an interest in making them a real world tool, and the Australian team has found one means of doing so.

Theirs works by shifting the direction of water currents.

They’ve only tested it out in tanks, but so far they’ve had great success in pulling objects to where they want them.

Over time they realized they could model and manipulate a variety of wave changes and control object movement.

Said one of the team members, "We can engineer surface flows of practically any shape. These could be vortices, these could be outward and inward jets - it's a variety of different flow configurations."

They still face a lot of challenges in expanding their discovery to practical applications, but are enthusiastic about doing so.

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