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Science Technology

Fiber Optic Spanner (Wrench) Developed 65

Posted by Soulskill
from the nanites-need-tools-too dept.
xclr8r writes "A technique to use fiber optics to adjust microscopic particles has been developed. 'Rather than an actual physical device that wraps around a cell or other microscopic particle to apply rotational force, the spanner (the British term for a wrench) is created when two laser beams — emitted by a pair of optical fibers — strike opposite sides of the microscopic object, trapping and holding it in place. By slightly offsetting the fibers, the beams can impart a small twisting force, causing the object to rotate in place. It is possible to create rotation along any axis and in any direction, depending on the positioning of the fibers.' Applications of this technology can be used in a number of ways, including cancer research. This technology could be used to actually manipulate DNA. Associate Professor of Physics Samarendra Mohanty states that macroscale applications are a possibility, including 'direct conversion of solar energy to mechanical energy,' or possibly using it to 'simulate an environment in which photons radiated from the sun could propel the reflective motors in solar sails, a promising future technology for deep-space travel.'"
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Fiber Optic Spanner (Wrench) Developed

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Still (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wierd_w (1375923) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @10:32PM (#42187679)

    You could probably make one if you really wanted.

    I mean, a simple tone generator, and some variable impedence circuits attached to some high power tansducers with a waveguide cup, and you are there.

    All you have to do, is ensure that the tones emitted by the transducers are offset a small fraction of a wavelength of the tone frequency, such that a reinforcement peak forms and "rolls" around the inside of the cavity. Basically an ultrasonic motor, but with just the stators.

    Would also work wonders for busting up rust on a rusty bolt.

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.