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Fiber Optic Spanner (Wrench) Developed

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the nanites-need-tools-too dept.

Science 65

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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Still (4, Insightful)

Jimbob The Mighty (1282418) | about 2 years ago | (#42187629)

Still waiting on the sonic screwdriver...

Re:Still (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42187677)

I already have one. It makes noise, lights up, and it's, well, a screw driver. I can even change the bit.

Re:Still (3, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Still (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 years ago | (#42188175)

With regards to rusty bolts. Use Liquid Wrench. It's messy (especially if you're crawling under a car to work), but that stuff works miracles. The last thing you want to do is break off the stud with the bolt still attached. That will ruin your day!

Re:Still (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42188205)

The "sonic screwdriver" would work best with a penetrating oil like liquid wrench anyway. The oil would improve phonon conduction in the bolt.

It would basically be the same as gently tapping the head of the rusted bolt with a hammer after being sprayed, only more controlled, and with additional resonant effects in play.

Too strong of a transducer might fatigue the metal of the bolt though. Try to avoid the ones that can "homogenize" tissue samples, and you should be fine. :D

Re:Still (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188449)

Maybe reversing the polarity would improve the jargon and buzzword combination... With a physics background, I know what those words mean individually, but that doesn't mean arbitrary combinations of physics jargon has a meaning as a whole.

Re:Still (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42188511)

How nice of you to assume I don't know what I am talking about! And to be so conceited about it too! /snark

Really, it makes perfect sense as written. The bolt and the threaded hole it is inserted/rusted into will have different resonant frequencies. The interface (rust) between the bolt and the hole has a lower deformation capacity, and is much more brittle than either of the other bodies.

The screwdriver produces what is essentially a standing wave that "crawls" in a circle inside the waveguide cup, which is placed over the top of the bolt head. In addition to interaction with this standing wave, it will also be subjected to the interfereing part of the wave. This will cause the shaft to resonate. We want the phonons induced inside the bolt and in the hole to have a reliable medium over which to interact. The penetrating oil will work nicely.

The cavitations created in this interface will shatter the rust, by inducing pressure beyond the rust's structural tolerances.

The bolt won't turn very fast, if at all (very rusted, with lots of resistance), but it would break up the rust quite nicely, in exactly the same way a tissue homogenizer blends up tissue samples.

Re:Still (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188641)

The rotating frequency of the central peak won't cause the bolt to resonate unless it is also the resonant frequency of the bolt or consists of a much faster time scale impulse. In such a case, the rotating peaking won't contribute to resonance, and you could have just gone with a simple sound source and mechanical supplied torque (e.q. a vibrating wrench). Additionally, the resonating would worsen the ability to apply torque if using the same sound source for that. You say both the standing wave and "interfering part" of the wave contribute, but a standing wave is just a wave interfering with itself in a particular way, there doesn't seem to be any meaningful distinction in that case. You also wouldn't want good conduction of sound between the bolt and the bolt-hole, as that would just lose energy from the system, but I wasn't sure which "hole" you might be referring to wanting a reliable medium for.

This has nothing to do with phonons, which are quantized vibrations really only of conceptual use in quantum mechanical systems and some thermodynamics, you are just dealing with good old fashion bulk sound. Using "phonons" in such a context with such irrelevance makes you look more like a sci-fi fan or some one in marketing, regardless of what your actual background is.

Re:Still (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42188709)

The device I have in mind has 3 or more transducers, offset a fraction of a wavelength. (Not a whole wavelength fraction.) The transducers need to be slightly angled, so that the standing waves are not formed at the exact center of the cavity, but instead slightly offcenter.

For breaking rust, I actually envisioned a digitally tuned frequency, that adjusts the tone to that of the bolt by looking for polyphonic abberations. (Use a peizo crystal to measure the feedback.) The idea is to increase the amount of polyphonic waveforms generated by the bolt, such that it essentially "hoolahoops" on a very tiny scale.

We want energy to be conducted away from the bolt, and into the rust+oil medium, so that cavitation occurs in that medium. We want the bolt hole to serve as a sink for the energy kicked up in the bolt, to avoid damaging the bolt. The hole will have a different resonant frequency than the bolt, so the tuned source signal will only cause heating in the material the hole is drilled in.

Due to the tiny distances involved between the bolt and the hole, we want to use a very high frequency signal, so the bolt will be at an Nth order harmonic, and not a first order one. The potential to cause microfractures across metal grain boundries inside the bolt is a noteworthy concern, and is why we want to dampen the resonation.

Re:Still (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188839)

We want energy to be conducted away from the bolt, and into the rust+oil medium, so that cavitation occurs in that medium.

Ok... so I was at least partially with you on the idea of using vibration to break loose rust, but the idea of using cavitation in such a case probably takes a jump in difficulty equivalent from "building an airplane" to "building a non-generational interstellar craft." Not to say it couldn't be done in principle, but the amount of effort would be so insane. It might only be of use if you accidentally bolted a space shuttle to the LHC and then got an ITER stuck in between, then let the bolt lock up from rust, but for some reason made the bolt out of an artifact of such cultural importance to some country, they will declare war if you damage it. With a massive amount of measurement, computer simulations, and a whole staff of multiple teams of engineers, you might be able to make it work on a case-by-case basis.

Cavitation has a nasty habit of damaging materials in the near vicinity, likely tearing and heating up the bolt and bolt hole. Even if you can get enough energy localized at one spot to cavitation, considering how much won't go there and how crappy any higher order mode would be, especially if you are only three sources, you would probably want it to do so in multiple locations, or even just the correct location. Don't expect every location to have its own frequency to reach, many places will be excited by the same frequency, but unevenly. You could easily have one spot cavitation, absorbing 99+% of the useful power for a mode (not counting other losses...), making non-destructive and reaching other spots mutually exclusive.

Re:Still (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42188919)

It doesn't need to actually make really large bubbles. It just needs to cavitate the heavier rust particles suspended in the oil, creating little pockets of pure oil that move around the threads of the bolt. We don't need to volatize the oil.

Think more "ultrasonic cleaner", and less "ultrasonic heater."

We just want small cavities of the more motile oil to form behind flakes of rust between the bolt and the bolt hole. Not actual evacuated bubbles.

Re:Still (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42189201)

Yes, and I've seen different parts damaged by ultrasonic cleaners under various situations due to the cavitation, even the with gentler, high frequency specialty kinds. Usually with a little care of correct choice of cleaner that chemically affects the dirt/rust you are trying to remove more than the base material, even application of power, and limiting exposure goes a long way to taking off just what you want and not more. And yes, an ultrasonic cleaner can loosen seized components, it is more from just mechanical action, as cavitation doesn't reach into the tight spaces a typical bolt would have as well as the outer surfaces (also comes down to luck a lot... it is usually a last ditch option for me, and usually doesn't work, and in some cases make the problem much worse). But if you try to hit any sort of resonance or focus that power into, potentially arbitrary spots, you will see much more damage and otherwise is back to just the generic vibrating the screw to free it, then to mechanically unscrew.

Not actual evacuated bubbles.

Should probably use a word other than cavitation then...

Re:Still (2)

EETech1 (1179269) | about 2 years ago | (#42188375)

PB B'laster kicks liquid wrenches butt...

If you've never tried it, you have to!

Cheers!

Re:Still (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42189811)

I only use Liquid Wrench when I can't use a torch. Burn that rust off.

Re:Still (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | about 2 years ago | (#42188279)

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.

But it would also loosen all of the other bolts that were in the vicinity of the bolt you were trying to tighten!

And nothing currently existing beats a screwdriver for torquing the bolt that last bit so that it elastically deforms and stays tight.

Re:Still (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42188585)

But a manual tool isn't as cool, and won't rattle a doorknob apart! :D

Re:Still (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42187713)

Between a Sonic Screwdriver and an Optical Wrench, I'd rather have the wrench; but above all what I really want is a Quantum Hammer.

Re:Still (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 2 years ago | (#42188341)

    Thor's seemed to work pretty well. Too bad we lost the tech aeons ago.

Re:Still (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42187751)

That's just orange juice, vodka, and some blue curacao right?

Re:Still (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42187985)

The most invaluable tool I ever used was a cotton hammer, to install my car windshield.

Re:Still (1)

ajlitt (19055) | about 2 years ago | (#42188099)

However, Inspector Spacetime is pleased.

Re:Still (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 years ago | (#42189329)

It's really a sonic probe.

At Last! (1)

kerrbear (163235) | about 2 years ago | (#42190085)

Now I can finally put the screws back in on my laptop!

Re:Still (1)

Plazmid (1132467) | about 2 years ago | (#42191157)

Don't you mean an acoustic spanner, like this:
http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/10/1/013018 [iop.org]

It's been know for quite a while than one can generate a torque with soundwaves.

Wrench != spanner (1, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#42187687)

"Wrench" is the British term for an adjustable spanner.

Re:Wrench != spanner (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42187703)

Hmm.. so, a "monkey wrench", in british parlance, would be an enormous adjustable spanner?

Would a really large pipe wrench qualify?

Re:Wrench != spanner (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#42189449)

A monkey wrench is a monkey wrench but it's commonly called a "pair of Stilsons", Stilson is the name of a company that makes monkey wrenches. A pipe wrench is a pipe wrench. A plain old adjustable spanner is called a wrench, or more commonly a "shifter" which is shorthand for shifting spanner. Strangely a socket spanner is more commonly called a socket wrench. The same terminology is used in Australia because most of our past mechanics and engineers came from the UK.

Re:Wrench != spanner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42189697)

I thought a pipe wrench=Stilson's=monkey wrench.

I suppose there could be pipe wrenches which differ in design, but I have never seen one.

Adjustable spanners have always been 'adjustable' as in 'pass me t'big adjustable'.

Never heard a socket spanner called a socket wrench.

This is in the third world (northern england). Your Nomenclature Might Vary.

Well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42187739)

...that's interesting, but TFS is talking about an American "wrench" being the same as a British "spanner" not the other way around.

Re:Well... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#42189511)

Thanks, I realise it's the other way around, but I thought it was interesting too, so I posted it. ;)

Re:Wrench != spanner (1)

bLanark (123342) | about 2 years ago | (#42189437)

"Wrench" is the British term for an adjustable spanner.

I disagree. An adjustable spanner is called an "adjustable spanner" where I come from. I only ever heard the term "wrench" on tv/movies.

I also think that the article summary should say ...

(the correct term for a wrench)

. :-)

Re:Wrench != spanner (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42189523)

Yes, but spanner is the British term for what the Americans call a wrench, which is what the article is pointing out.

Re:Wrench != spanner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42190537)

Yes, but spanner is the British term for what the Americans call a wrench, which is what the article is pointing out.

But why is the article mixing the British "spanner" with American "fiber"?

Re:Wrench != spanner (1)

Gonoff (88518) | about 2 years ago | (#42190699)

Wrench is the term that is used in North America for what much (most?) of the world calls a spanner.

Don't blame the British. Blame Webster for most of the differences between what you speak and "International" English.

Chewie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42187691)

Bring me the hydrospanner! ...

OUCH! CHEWIE!!

Physical Device (1)

mfwitten (1906728) | about 2 years ago | (#42187741)

Rather than an actual physical device

So, it's not a physical device? What is a 'physical' device? What is a 'non-physical' device? In fact, what is a 'device'? Sloppy language betrays sloppy thinking.

You'll give me examples, but you'll probably be wrong.

Re:Physical Device (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42187841)

Given the "fuzzy" nature of massive particles at the quantum scale, and their "actually" being little more than a probabalistic distribution of an energy potential, I agree.

The best explanation I could give for a "physical" device is one that makes use of electrical charge repulsion forces to interact with another massive particle. (Eg, what keeps your hand from going right through the door when you knock on it.)

Photons are not massive particles, and imbue kinetic forces through a completely different mechanism.

Re:Physical Device (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188679)

Photons are not massive particles, and imbue kinetic forces through a completely different mechanism.

Photons exchange kinetic energy and momentum the same way most things do: via the electromagnetic interaction. You can either think of this in some classical sense of applying electric and magnetic fields to charged particles, or in terms of quantum field theory, where there is an exchange of force carriers, which are photons for most every day interactions people notice between bulk objects, (plus gravity from Earth).

Given the "fuzzy" nature of massive particles at the quantum scale...

That is not specific to massive particles and applies to photons too.

probabalistic distribution of an energy potential

This is almost bordering on word salad. The probabilistic distributions are usually considered over position and momentum for basic quantum stuff, and you can discuss cases of probability over energy distributions, but "distribution of an energy potential" sounds like it is conflating things, as the "energy potential" is typically used in something like Schrodinger's equation to find the probability distribution of some other quantity.

Ok, serious question here: (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42187745)

How large/complex of a particle can they manipulate using this technology, and how fast can they move particles without risking them falling out of the "tweesers"?

I imagine the applications as a synthesis system for synthentic long chain DNA, or synthetically generated amino acid chains, to better test protein folding under laboratory conditions.

Synthetic DNA chain synthesis especially is a very intriguing potential application here. The tweeser needs to be able to hold up a fair amount of mass though to be useful for that though.

Re:Ok, serious question here: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188571)

You're going to run into trouble manipulating anything much smaller than a wavelength, because there will be very little gradient in pressure across something much smaller than the sound waves, and hence very little net force involved. Even if you took gigahertz ultrasound in water, which is producible but really weak considering attenuation goes with frequency squared in the regime and ultrasound generation methods in that range are pretty crappy, would would be limited to micron scaling, a factor of a 100 off from the individual components of proteins and DNA. You would be left with just moving around bulk chunks, something microfluidics research is working on and doing quite well with structured channels and the like already without worry about using ultrasound in those contexts. And that is more like just a bunch of tiny beakers and test tubs carried around by tiny chemists that allows work with very small samples (or a not so small sample spread out amount many different things/tests), not actual direct manipulation of the chemistry, which is left to other chemicals.

Re:Ok, serious question here: (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42188635)

I was referring to the optical tweezers cited by the summary. Those would have wavelengths in the nanometer range, which should allow you to move largish molecules around.

The question was if you would need some other form of support to hold the substrate you were building up with the tweezed building blocks, or if you could use another tweezer to hold the chain.

Remember, individual atoms can be trapped in a bessel beam laser.

DNA nucleotide sequences are considerably larger.

Re:Ok, serious question here: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188755)

Sorry, all the talk of sonic screwdrivers was making me think of sound waves. Nonetheless, the laser described in the paper is about 980 nm in wavelength, and the apply this to a particle about 10 microns in diameter. Trapping an atom with in a Bessel beam is much different than apply a torque to an atom or molecule, as that would either require a gradient in the field over the size of the molecule, or some sort of absorption process, which for rotation, would be a whole different regime. And the trapped atoms typically move around in a volume much larger than their own size, so it would not be of much use for directly manipulating components of DNA or secondary structure of proteins, as they would continue to do what they want. It would be like trying to assemble a nut and bolt by rattling them around inside a tuna fish can. There might still be some special cases where some structure is very sensitive or marginally stable, in which case it would not take much to mess with, but probably would not work in general, at least with anything like this.

Re:Ok, serious question here: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188895)

In case it wasn't clear here, I explicitly said DNA components and secondary structure protein, or implied components of protein, as there are some special cases of manipulating DNA and proteins as if a bulk material for measurements of various material properties of such molecules, especially on larger scales (or more interestingly, during biological processes). Typically, they involve attaching large beads to the ends of molecules, then pulling the beads around. That has been done quite a bit, but is on par with working with a shoelace with bowling balls taped to the ends and you are only allowed to touch the bowling balls (...on a very windy day,thanks to Brownian motion).

Re:Ok, serious question here: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188825)

This sounds very similar to an older technology (1980s) generally referred to as 'optical tweezers.' As far as I can tell, the novel part of the article is the application of a rotational force. The technique has already been used for a large number of microscopic applications including characterizing protein motor molecules.

I can't directly answer your query but you might be able to get the answer out of the wiki page.

memory low can i install qemm? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42187757)

a google search (new at this) said to install qemm for low memory but i cannot find this anywhere? is this new? is there a memory expansion software i can get now to solve my problem?

Re:memory low can i install qemm? (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42187771)

I'm afraid you are about 25 years too late to that party, unless you are running a vintage DOS machine.

If however, you indeed are running a vintage dos machine for old retro dos games (because dosbox doesn't feel right), then there are much better FOSS memory managers from the freedos project you can use instead of that incompatability inducing horror QEMM. :)

Just sayin.

Re:memory low can i install qemm? (0, Offtopic)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 years ago | (#42187967)

Just sayin.

Really?
I do not think so. First you are not "sayin". You are posting.
Second I found when people use that phrase it is always a lie.
They are always attempting to imply something. Never "just sayin" so they can hear words come out of their mouths.

Just implying.

Re:memory low can i install qemm? (0)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42188107)

Well, you are welcome to fact check if you like.

QEMM and EMM386.EXE both gobble down a considerable amount of conventional memory to house their EMM interupt vector routine TSR, even when you don't even NEED EMS pageframes.

If all you need is for the HMA and UMBs to be available, you can HIRAM.SYS instead. It uses only 1k of conventional memory, and can even be loaded outside conventional if needed. Personally, I prefer to use UMBPCI to enable hardware UMBs on old school pentium systems for retro gaming, and to manually configure an EMS pageframe with JEMMX, which also replaces himem.sys, and superceeds hiram.sys.

Using SHUCDX, CTMOUSE, and JEMMX will usually net you a dos machine with over 600kb free conventional. Usually in the 620kb range, unless your chipset/bios is really bitchy about the adaptor rom region.

Always manually assign the location of the EMS pageframe. Exactly where to put it is black magic voodoo that is specifc to the system being tweaked. Remember that it gobbles up a whole 64kb of the adaptor rom region! Only use EMS if you REALLY need it.

Re:memory low can i install qemm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42189745)

Ah, happy single tasking days, when you could boot from a floppy drive, set up a ramdisk and still run an application all within one megabyte. Well, plus the 64k that you wrapped round into with your 286. And you got a DOS manual on actual dead tree. And a GW-Basic manual.

Re:memory low can i install qemm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42192147)

Umm I was not arguing about the merits of QEMM.
I too grew up playing with my config.sys and my autoexec.bat files all night long.
Of course I graduated to 4DOS, DOS for adults.

Please re read my post.

Re:memory low can i install qemm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188441)

i think i follow. it helps. if i find foss this will do what qemm does by expansioning my memry? how does inductor matter? do i need this? more memory. want to be strong. will more meory make me strong?

conservation of momentum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42187761)

"direct conversion of solar energy to mechanical energy" But, but, conservation of momentum. Doesn't "mechanical energy" imply "has momentum"? your massless photon carries 0 momentum, so how can you have "direct conversion of solar energy to mechanical energy" ?

Re:conservation of momentum (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42187895)

Radiation pressure.

Essentially, when the electron of the absorbing substance absorbs a photon, its speed and energy increase, slightly altering the rest energy of the atom in question. When the photon is re-emitted, the state drops back down. When that happens, there is a change in kinetic movement of the atom.

All atoms are constantly moving in random patterns. Sustained exposure to a radiation source provides a sustained and consistent influence on that motion, wich results in a small, but cumulative change in the group's vector of motion.

See for instance, a radiometer. Differences in absorption/emission of photons creates a pressure differential from the re-emission. The black sides of the square tags of the radiometer's armature emit lower energy photons than they absorb. Where does the energy go? Heat! Aka, random atomic motion.

Re:conservation of momentum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188491)

Radiation pressure does not require any discussion of atomic levels or structures, as that is pretty much irrelevant. Photons (and electromagnetic fields if you prefer to think in those terms) simply carry moment, and will exchange momentum in interactions with particles that can interact with them. That is all there is to it.

And a radiometer is a bad example of radiation pressure, as most of the novelty ones you can find for demonstration purpose turn the wrong way, instead having to do with heat causing a differential pressure in the residual gas within the not quite perfectly evacuated bulb. They look as though they are being pushed on the dark side, when radiation pressure would push more on the light side. It doesn't have to do with being re-emitted as far as radiation pressure, as photons bouncing off a surface (e.g. mirror or effectively for white surfaces) will impart double the momentum of one being absorbed.

It's an Optic Screwdriver! (1)

Mark Shewmaker (29292) | about 2 years ago | (#42187885)

The Doctor needs an Optic Screwdriver now. (Or is this optical functionality already integrated into his current tool, accessible by a different setting, like a Harmony remote that automatically switches the right units on and off and set to the correct configuration?)

Re:It's an Optic Screwdriver! (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#42187911)

No silly. The Master uses a "laser screwdriver".

2 guesses who's working for these guys. ;)

(Lol!)

Huh? (1)

BigBunion (2578693) | about 2 years ago | (#42188071)

Am I the only one that thought this article was about a new wrench for repairing fiber optic cables?

Gee, but what about the threads on fasteners (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188121)

Without threaded nuts, bolts and screws, is this really a spanner or wrench?

I mean they can use it on a sphere, a flywheel or what-have-you.

Prove to me that it's not a timing belt?

Belts spin things too, ya know...

Can you use it to repair the Millenium Falcon? (1)

phrackthat (2602661) | about 2 years ago | (#42188147)

or is the Hyrdrospanner [wikia.com] next?

Deep space travel wastes it all (1)

Herve5 (879674) | about 2 years ago | (#42189959)

We never should allow people talk outside their area of competence. This guy Mohanty indeed seems wise and an inventor at microcell manipulations, but from there to say it will "rotate the mirror motors in Sun reflectors for deep space travel"...

First, in "deep space" you don't have Sun, sir. We already hadn't when going to Saturn, for instance. So you'd better call it *close* interplanetary travel, rather.
Second, using solar pressure to actuate, and even rotate things, has already been demoed in all science fairs for 50 years, and as concerns space applications, well there may be 250 patents pendings on this. I think I even applied for one myself, years ago, with a specific mirror dispatcher.

So, well, I think we have to presume the end sentence was just added to flash in the /. summary. At the cost of seriousness.

The British term for a wrench (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42190241)

More commonly the word "spanner" is saved for tools, muppets and, to use an American word, retards.

Next up... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 years ago | (#42190335)

A spanner that uses light?

Hm, now if only they can develop a screwdriver using sound. THAT might be useful.

New name (1)

BaronAaron (658646) | about 2 years ago | (#42191061)

Fiber optic spanner is kind of a long name.

I suggest hyperspanner [memory-alpha.org] .

It would be bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42212201)

Don't cross the streams

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