Tractor Beams Are Awesome

Actually... the real story is that scientists led by Mikkel F. Andersen at the University of Otago in New Zealand used lasers to slow down the frenetic movement (think really really ADHD kids, on crack, then record them running around in a playground, and play it back in your DVD at 8x speed, after drinking 5 red bulls. You would be a tiny step towards understanding what mad little monkeys atoms are) of a group of rubidium-85 atoms, and then capture them inside optical tweezers. The method could catch and isolate atoms 83 percent of the time. Using the optical tweezers — really two lasers acting as a kind of tractor beam — Andersen’s team was able to hold a single rubidium atom in front of a camera designed for use in space, and snap its picture.

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