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'lightfoil' idea shows light can provide lift

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Geplaatst op 08 december 2010 - 09:39

'Lightfoil' idea shows light can provide lift

Just as air causes lift on the wings of an aeroplane, light can do the same trick, researchers have said.

The effect, first shown in simulations, was proven by showing it in action on tiny glass rods.

Like the aerofoil concept of wings, the approach, published in Nature Photonics, works by making use of the radiation pressure of light.

The results are of interest for steering "solar sails", a spacecraft propulsion based on the same force.

Each photon - or packet of light - carries its own momentum, and this "lightfoil" works by gathering the momentum of light as it passes through a material.

Geplaatste afbeelding
  • Light coming in from the left passes through the glass "lightfoil"
  • Some passes straight through the back surface, while some is reflected and exits through the bottom (white arrows)
  • This change in the light particles' momentum is balanced by another force: lift (blue arrow)

Lees verder: http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-11927793

Bron: BBC

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