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Optical Levitation, Space Travel, Quantum Mechanics and Gravity 82

An anonymous reader writes "Light doesn't just make things brighter; it can also push things around. Normally this "radiation pressure" force is so small you don't notice it. But if you get a really big mirror then you could use it to power a space ship to the stars. This is the idea behind solar sails. The impact of light is more obvious on small things. Scientists are thinking about levitation of a mirror that would be large enough to see with the naked eye. If this turns out to work, the motion of the floating mirror could be used to probe the physics that connects quantum theory and general relativity."
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Optical Levitation, Space Travel, Quantum Mechanics and Gravity

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  • Re:Hmmm. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Nyder (754090) on Sunday June 01, 2014 @09:10PM (#47144367) Journal


    If you built a car whose headlights could accelerate the car in reverse with photonic pressure, the headlights would vaporize a considerable chunk of the planet in front of you...

    That seems pointless, because you are going in reverse, think you'd want to vaporize the stuff that would be in the way.

Let's organize this thing and take all the fun out of it.