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Researchers Create Real Tractor Beams

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the rebels-will-be-crushed dept.

Australia 111

Gadgetank writes "Researchers out of the Australian National University have created a device, working in conjunction with other necessary devices, that can literally move small particles with light. And only light. The way it works is by shining a hollow laser beam around some tiny glass particles. The researchers heat the air around the particles, and therefore cause the dark center of the beam to remain cool."

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not a real tractor beam (5, Informative)

D3 (31029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527702)

They use this to PUSH particles around, not PULL them.

Re:not a real tractor beam (5, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527714)

Well then they just need to reverse the polarity!

Re:not a real tractor beam (5, Informative)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527904)

Quoth wikipedia (from the "Optical Tweezers" article:

Optical tweezers (originally called "single-beam gradient force trap") is a scientific instrument that uses a highly focused laser beam to provide an attractive or repulsive force (typically on the order of piconewtons), depending on the refractive index mismatch to physically hold and move microscopic dielectric objects. Optical tweezers have been particularly successful in studying a variety of biological systems in recent years.
--------
So does that mean this new method works on a different principle?

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

Anomalyx (1731404) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528044)

Quoth wikipedia (from the "Optical Tweezers" article:

Optical tweezers (originally called "single-beam gradient force trap") is a scientific instrument that uses a highly focused laser beam to provide an attractive or repulsive force (typically on the order of piconewtons), depending on the refractive index mismatch to physically hold and move microscopic dielectric objects. Optical tweezers have been particularly successful in studying a variety of biological systems in recent years.
--------
So does that mean this new method works on a different principle?

I don't think I've ever seen a tractor push anything; only pull. So if these beams really can provide a force in either direction, I vote we call them tugboat beams instead.

Re:not a real tractor beam (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528194)

I vote we call them tugboat beams instead.

That's a pretty great idea, actually. I second this!

It's certainly much better than my idea of renaming tractors "uni-directional laser tweezer trucks"

Re:not a real tractor beam (2, Funny)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528454)

It's not something that you just dump microscopic dielectric objects on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530764)

Dozerbeam.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 3 years ago | (#33531564)

Dozerbeam.

That, for me, is a winner!

Re:not a real tractor beam - tractor pushing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33528252)

You asked...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7by1pFkq9nk

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

Gary Perkins (1518751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528266)

I don't think I've ever seen a tractor push anything; only pull. So if these beams really can provide a force in either direction, I vote we call them tugboat beams instead.

Ain't the English language a funny thing? Tugboats push instead of tug/pull. People park in driveways. And so on.

I think the only way we'll ever see a real tractor beam is the day we can control gravitons (I'm still not convinced they are real particles, although I was pleasantly surprised when I started seeing them mentioned more in recent documentaries). If we could somehow create focused graviton beams, then we'd have a real tractor beam.

Re:not a real tractor beam (2, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528448)

Ain't the English language a funny thing? Tugboats push instead of tug/pull. People park in driveways. And so on.

Not really, no. Tugboats primarily pull, although they can also push. And a driveway is a path which you drive on in order to reach the house. You could park your car on a driving-range, too, but that wouldn't make the name inappropriate.

Re:not a real tractor beam (2, Insightful)

Albinoman (584294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528598)

I bet you're a lot of fun at parties.

Re:not a real tractor beam (-1, Troll)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528798)

If you're the kind of douche who likes to make shit up in order to impress people - or just an idiot who confuses ignorance for knowledge - no, you probably won't have a very good time when I'm around. But I guarantee that everyone else will deeply enjoy laughing at you. So "fun" is a relative term.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

Albinoman (584294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529276)

Wow dude, mellow out. It was a joke. You just pissed in the previous guy's Wheaties so why do you deserve better? I love learning new things more than anyone I personally know. I am comfortable with the knowledge that I know a lot more than the most people around me, but I don't demonstrate it or rub it in every chance I get. By correcting people making a non-offensive joke, especially nitpicking stupid little details, it makes you seem like an arrogant prick.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529436)

You're right, I didn't mean to come across so harsh. Actually, I originally had another paragraph in there that was intended as a joke, but took it out because I didn't think it was funny enough. Seems that the rest of it came across a lot more asshole-ish once all the humor was removed.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33532140)

You're right

Wait a second. He told you to mellow out and that you were coming across like an arrogant prick and you agreed with him? Clearly you have no idea how the Internet works. The correct response in that situation is "UP YOURS PAL! I'M GONNA FIND YOU AND BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!!!!!111".

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529100)

But if you park on a parkway, you're asking for trouble.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530498)

That or you live in NYC.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

rockNme2349 (1414329) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529132)

You park on a driveway, you drive on a parkway.

If you send something by truck it's a shipment. If you send it by ship it's cargo.

English is weird.

Re:not a real tractor beam (-1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529236)

No, you drive on a driveway. Try parking on the driveway in front of your office buildings, and see what happens. Also, a parkway is named after parks (you know, trees, butterflies, all that "nature" crap). And the words "shipment" and "cargo" have distinctly different meanings, but both can be sent via whatever form of transport you chose. If you send a shipment via a ship it's still a shipment, and a truck can carry cargo (as can a car).

It's not English that's weird - it's your intentional misrepresentation of common words and concepts that's rather strange.

Re:not a real tractor beam (2, Interesting)

Gary Perkins (1518751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529712)

I think it's more likely cultural difference. American English seems to have minor differences in the meanings of words.

I know as far as a driveway, most everyone here doesn't really have one. It's more like parking spaces. But we call them driveway's anyways.

I'm surprised I started this whole discussion. I was actually just alluding to some jokes by one or two popular American comedians. It's been repeated often enough that I couldn't begin to remember who, but the point of the joke is simply that English really is somewhat of a backwords language compared to most of the world.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529796)

I know, I've heard those jokes before. I used to find them funny, too, when I was 15. However, as my grasp of the English language improved, they started to seem more and more annoying with every iteration.

If you really think that "English is somewhat backwards compared to most of the world", I'm guessing you don't speak any other languages. ANY language can be made to seem ridiculous if you're willing to intentionally misinterpret / misrepresent certain words, and many don't need you to do even that much.

Re:not a real tractor beam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33530060)

And if you expect to arrive someplace in a car, you gotta keep on truckin'.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

onepoint (301486) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529696)

Tugboats: funny thing is that can pull or push depending on the needs

Most river tug's are barge pushers

most harbor tugs push vessels, the only time I see that not true on the Hudson river is when it's a fuel barge that is empty.

ocean going tug's pull a vessel

from what little I know, a tug boat is very good at pushing because of the prop design and control
A pulling a vessel does not have that much control.

some newer designed tugs are amazing, they can turn on a dime with amazing amounts of force to applied.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

Gary Perkins (1518751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529730)

I haven't actually seen a tugboat pull, but I figured they would. I live near an obscure, but important, port (Beaumont, TX). I grew up watching them navigate the Neches River, and I have seen them do some pretty neat things. There's a refinery dock next to the park I used to hang out at, and I would watch the tugboats help secure a vessel... you can FEEL the power of those engines a good 150 yards away.

Really old science fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33528374)

Quite a few really old science fiction writers called them pressor beams instead of tractor beams if they pushed instead of pulled.
I'm talking "Golden age" science fiction, 1920s, 30's, 40's.

Of course this isn't either of those as it requires air, so it's not direct application of force "beams" any more than a fan is a direct application of force.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

thorgil (455385) | more than 3 years ago | (#33532480)

I've seen tractors with snowplows.
They PUSH snow.

btw, even though tugboats sometimes pushes, "tug" means pull. "Tug of war" as an example.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

danny_lehman (1691870) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528884)

so they wouldnt even work in space? no atmosphere. pshh

Re:not a real tractor beam (2, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529448)

Actually, Wasn't there an article about a month ago here on slashdot about the "Maximum effective energy" a laser can reach, before the photon flux itself breaks down into antiparticle pairs? A similar effect could be attained using a modification of the optical tweaser approach used here, that WOULD be effective in space. (It would, however, also tend to vaporize whatever you shined it at... but Meh.) Namely, you add another "layer" in your optical tweasers, at a very very high photon flux. This will create antiparticle pairs in one part of the beam path (middle layer), the less energetic optical confinement stream (outer layer), and then the "cavity" in the center. Due to the self-scattering caused by the antiparticle pair production, this approach would have very limited range, but would at least partially solve the "no atmosphere" problem. (I wouldnt expect to move a huge asteroid this way; the vented gasses caused by hitting it with that much photon flux would provide vastly more propulsive force than that of the optical tweaser effect... but if you absolutely MUST move a particle in what is otherwise a vacuum, this kind of thing might work. Just keep it small enough to fit in the cavity, and OUT of the high flux layer. I just can't think of any reason why you would want to do this though. )

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527930)

If I shine a beam of light on something that causes it to move towards me, it's a tractor beam.

Re:not a real tractor beam (3, Funny)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528022)

So when a deer in the road moves toward me because I shine my headlights down the road, my headlights are a tractor beam?

Re:not a real tractor beam (3, Insightful)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528258)

So when a deer in the road moves toward me because I shine my headlights down the road, my headlights are attractor beam?

There, fixed it for you.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528010)

Dupe post in a dupe article

FFS morons can't even get it right on a dupe?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33528112)

Yes they ARE using this to pull particles in addition to pushing them.

Complain about dupes all you want, they obviously are necessary! Maybe on the third time this guy will get it right?

Re:not a real tractor beam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529230)

I can move small particles with my breath.

Re:not a real tractor beam (1)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529776)

plus its useless in space...

Dupe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33527726)

Can haz prize?

Echolocation (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33527730)

Re:Echolocation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33527960)

No kidding, bad enough when old stale news shows up on /. but now we've got another 'story' on the exact same thing?

Re:Echolocation (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527988)

Apparently they are able to push stories with this magical device as well.

Re:Echolocation (4, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527990)

This story is a reflection caused by bouncing the other story from a mirror using hollow laser beams.

Re:Echolocation (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528688)

Catpain, it appears that we've been warped into a future dimension, on in which this article has already appeared! We must find a nuclear wessle immediately!

Re:Echolocation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33528790)

Meow *ouch*!

Re:Echolocation (4, Funny)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529670)

Slashdot has become so big that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, and neither hand actually READS Slashdot...

Not terribly novel (3, Informative)

toppavak (943659) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527734)

Mechanical forces exerted on objects by light have been described since the 1970's and practically demonstrated since 1986 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Not terribly novel (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527856)

This is a secondary reaction from the light heating the air, so the air is moving the particle, which was heated by the laser. regardless this is about as close to a tractor beam as my DeWalt drill is to a wormhole generator.

Re:Not terribly novel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33528942)

I've had a small millipede invasion at my house over the last few weeks. They're creeping in every crack and hole they can find around my back door. A drill applied in the right place could really create a "worm" hole.

Re:Not terribly novel (1)

quizzicus (891184) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528636)

I think you mean the 1870s [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Not terribly novel (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529386)

Crooks radiometer has been getting pushed around by light since 1873!

In related news (3, Funny)

gearloos (816828) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527738)

John Deere files suit

Pfft (5, Funny)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527748)

Wouldn't work in a vacuum, less space than a nomad. Lame.

Re:Pfft (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529688)

True, but it uses Lasers. Once the cult of Laser picks it up, the rest of the public will follow. Damn those Laser sheep...

Re:Pfft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33530530)

It would work if the beam contained gluons!

Tractor beam? Hardly (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527758)

Meh. This is a repulsor beam, not a tractor beam. Wake me up when I can use this, instead of my own gravitational pull, to bring things within reach of my grasp.

Re:Tractor beam? Hardly (2, Funny)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527844)

You should seriously consider losing some weight.

Re:Tractor beam? Hardly (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527876)

You should seriously consider losing some weight.

Well, that's the damn point. I can't afford to lose weight until we have a working tractor beam, lest I lose all chances of physical contact with members of the opposite sex.

Although I suppose if I lost enough weight I could simply find some who are large enough to not outrun me, or I could even get swept into their gravitational pull. But I kind of prefer being the Jabba to their Leia.

Re:Tractor beam? Hardly (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528236)

But I kind of prefer being the Jabba to their Leia.

Careful, erotic asphyxiation is highly dangerous.

Re:Tractor beam? Hardly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33530090)

...Baron Harkonnen? How are you getting around without your suspensors?

Re:Tractor beam? Hardly (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527870)

You can use a repulsor beam like this to bring things within your grasp if it's positioned properly, much like women can increase their own attraction by bringing their much uglier friend with them to the bars. In practical terms, your large gravitational pull is actually counteracted by a natural repulsor beam (also generated by your weight) that keeps women away from you. If this new beam were to be placed directly behind your target, it may be able to successfully counteract your own repulsive field enough to draw the women in, or at least allow them to enter into a stable orbit around you. After that, you just have to turn up the charm and you're golden.

Re:Tractor beam? Hardly (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527918)

In practical terms, your large gravitational pull is actually counteracted by a natural repulsor beam (also generated by your weight) that keeps women away from you.

So you're saying that if I could project my stench *behind* my target, it would propel them towards me?

Interesting. And as you say, if they try escaping out the sides, that would just put them into orbit (provided I can move my stench projection as needed).

Interesting. You have given me much to ruminate on.

Re:Tractor beam? Hardly (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527896)

Wake me up when I can use this, instead of my own gravitational pull, to bring things within reach of my grasp. Cowboy Neal, is that you?

Re:Tractor beam? Hardly (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530236)

All hat and no cattle.

OMG (3, Funny)

future assassin (639396) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527782)

It worked so well that moving the particles caused the news about them to be duped http://tech.slashdot.org/index2.pl?fhfilter=Tractor+Beams [slashdot.org] They call it the Dupification Effect.

Re:OMG (2, Funny)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527800)

It worked so well it sent the news back into the past! That's incredible!

Re:OMG (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527984)

It worked so well that moving the particles caused the news about them to be duped http://tech.slashdot.org/index2.pl?fhfilter=Tractor+Beams [slashdot.org] They call it the Dupification Effect.

Apparently the Slashdot editors are caught in a tractor beam.
They're at full power; they're going to have to shut down.

Re:OMG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529488)

I'll bet you'll be singing a different tune if this thing comes alive.

Re:OMG (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529700)

RTFA. It clearly states that you need *two* beams, so it's only logical that it needs two separate posts in order to work.

Similar to Yesterday? (1)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527790)

Guess there's a lot of tractor beam research with this and Tractor Beams Come To Life [slashdot.org]

/. Creates Deja Vu machine (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527812)

Thought I read about this yesterday.... Oh, yeah, I did... Tractor Beams [slashdot.org]

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33527828)

Not only will it fetch my steak, it can cook it on the way over? Another breakthrough for delicious technology.

This has gotten ridiculous... (5, Funny)

hedpe2003 (1735078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527830)

A Slashdot submission... linking to a forum [gadgetank.com] ... linking to a new site [dvice.com] ... linking to a.... Slashdot submission [slashdot.org] ???

When I think SEO backlinking... I think this.

Re:This has gotten ridiculous... (1)

Kristopeit, M. D. (1892582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527986)

slashdot = stagnated

Re:This has gotten ridiculous... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529078)

And your repetitive posts are not helping.
Just saying.

Re:This has gotten ridiculous... (1)

Kristopeit, M. D. (1892582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529456)

you just acknowledged both.

inspiring such acknowledgement doesn't help, how?

Re:This has gotten ridiculous... (1)

cygnwolf (601176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527992)

Admittedly, it's a nice recursive loop we've got going here...

Re:This has gotten ridiculous... (1)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528068)

Expect to see the story again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next...

Re:This has gotten ridiculous... (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528142)

Then the site gets hacked because of a buffer overflow exploit.

Re:This has gotten ridiculous... (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528998)

Next thing, I'll be waking up to hear the same damn song at the same time every morning. In a small bed & breakfast in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Re:This has gotten ridiculous... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33528000)

Tractor parent up

Re:This has gotten ridiculous... (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528168)

Welcome to the 7th wonder of the internet: self-propagating citations. They're almost as fun as self-propagating code, but more dangerous because they make misinformed people feel smug and more intelligent than they really are.

For further information please see this article about Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] . Also try Googling recursion.

Re:This has gotten ridiculous... (2, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528820)

For further information please see this article about Wikipedia.

Wasn't all of that information on Wikipedia's Wikipedia page original research written by Wikipedia? That article should be deleted for being non-notable, and original research.

Re:This has gotten ridiculous... (1)

jewishbaconzombies (1861376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528954)

Quick - someone post this to a news site and then post about it in a forum.

We can't disrupt the timeline or the universe will implode!

(Or worse - cats and dogs living together, Sarah Palin will become president - MASS HYSTERIA!)

Re:This has gotten ridiculous... (1)

lmnfrs (829146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529600)

It seems we have a conundrum.

Dupe (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527850)

Here's your chance to karma whore by copying all the +5 comments from here [slashdot.org] !

Until the bacterium reroute the main power conduits through the deflector beam to create an inverse tachyon pulse. Then what?

Slashdot need a new flag... (1)

robnator (250608) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527888)

Yesterday's News (from Gizmodo)

Well to do this right -- (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527934)

-- they really need to use John Deere or Massey Ferguson tractor beams....

BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33527946)

Real tractor beams can tow space ships, and suck people off the ground

It works! (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 3 years ago | (#33527956)

I aimed it at yesterdays posting [slashdot.org] of this story and here it is, still hanging around!

im not a fan of (0)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528074)

the icon...an article reporting on the Australian National University's particle physics research being tagged with Crocodile Dundee's hat??
at best its goofy, at worst its degrading.
can we try for something like Ayers rock or the Usana amphitheater next time?
even better, something related to physics instead of some hollywood stereotypes prop?

Re:im not a fan of (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528334)

/. uses a variety of symbols to indicate what each story is about. Does the fact that Bill Gates doesn't work at Microsoft any more, nor was he ever assimilated into a borg mean that they shouldn't use that symbol? Further more, military technology has come a long way since roman times, the earth doesn't cast a shadow, software doesn't always come on CDs, there's more to space than Saturn and whatever other planet that is, Robots don't usually look like the goofy one in the symbol, and crime often doesn't involve handcuffs.

I could be a little prejudiced though, I'm Australian, and until I lost it I wore a hat like that to work every day.

Re:im not a fan of (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33531938)

Does the fact that Bill Gates doesn't work at Microsoft any more, nor was he ever assimilated into a borg mean that they shouldn't use that symbol?

Yes.

Re:im not a fan of (1)

getmerexkramer (955191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529562)

When I saw the icon, I thought tractor beams were being used to keep Paul Hogan within reach of the tax department.

Time Travel (2, Funny)

Zalbik (308903) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528132)

Damnit....I warned them that this would disrupt the space time continuum.

Those fools had to go ahead and do it anyways.

And now look what's happened...we're caught in a loop [slashdot.org] !

It's not a tractor beam if it requires .... (1)

Sir_Ace (147391) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528162)

an atmosphere... Creating suction by heating a medium, doesn't do you any good in space people... :)

Laser Tractor Beam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529390)

Push can be converted to pull given an appropriate mirror arrangement. I just saw a Physics colloquium on this last Friday:

http://www.theimec.org/dr-john-sinkos-publications/
http://www.unexplainable.net/Technology/Tractor-Beam-Technology-Developed-for-Space-Debris.shtml

Right, this seems as good a time as any (0, Offtopic)

Trogre (513942) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530152)

What's happened to the Slashdot tagging system? Why can't I click the little triangle to add new tags to an article anymore? Are only editors allowed to tag articles these days?

And why the hell hasn't anyone marked this one 'dupe'?

When tags were first introduced I saw a massive drop in the rate of duplicate articles that made it past the firehose (was it even called 'firehose' back then? I don't remember)

re: dupes (0, Offtopic)

sootman (158191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530710)

You know what though? Slashdot has gotten really good about dupes. Remember how it was kind of a running joke, and then for a while a couple years ago it got really bad? Now, this one is, I think, the second or third dupe I've seen in a year. Congrats to the staff for fixing at least one part of our beloved Slashdot.

Now if you'l excuse me, I'm off to copy some +5 comments from yesterday's thread. :-)

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