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Light Propels Nanoscale Particles



It sounds like something straight out of a science fiction novel or movie but it isn’t. Teams from MIT and other places are working on a system that will allow ordinary light to cause small particles, from molecule size to bacteria size, to move and spin.

This represents one of the latest developments that puts us closer to turning science fiction into science reality. Until now, research has been focused on using highly advanced types of light, such as laser beams. These new teams are instead trying to engineer the particles so ordinary light will be able to interact with them and cause them to move.

The manner of manipulation includes creating particles in asymmetrical spheres using materials such as silica at the core and gold in a thin layer over that. The result is that the particles spin and changing the color of the light affects the speed at which the particles spin.

This is just the beginning. Read more on this fascinating topic here:

Cover Photo Credit: Christine Daniloff/MIT


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