Spock and Kirk take St Andrews!

Trekkies are one step closer to their utopia, as St Andrews’ scientists have recreated the Star Trek “tractor beam”. In real life. With the assistance of Czech researchers, the team, led […]


Trekkies are one step closer to their utopia, as St Andrews’ scientists have recreated the Star Trek “tractor beam”. In real life.

With the assistance of Czech researchers, the team, led by Dr. Tomas Cizmar, discovered a technique that allows them to provide ‘negative’ force, which acts upon minuscule particles and results in a Star Trek-style tractor beam.

In non-trekkie lingo, the beam of light can be used to pull objects (like planets, spacecrafts, and inter-galactic evil) towards it. While reenacted only on a miniature scale, this discovery could lead to important medical advances in blood testing.

Dr Brzobohaty, one of the researchers on the team, said “these methods are opening new opportunities for fundamental phonics as well as applications for life-sciences.”

The exciting aspect of the project is that the occurrence of negative force is very specific to the properties of the object, such as size and composition. While this excitement may hold fast for Kirk and Spock, perhaps the most refreshing part of the discovery for St Andrews students is their school’s newfound comparison to the Starship Enterprise – rather than Hogwarts.

Image courtesy of mirror.co.uk