Gravitational waves from black hole pairs could act like tractor beams
Gravitational waves, the ripples in space-time caused by the motions of massive objects, could act like sci-fi tractor beams.
We already know that a rotating beam of light can trap tiny particles and move them around – this year’s Nobel prize in physics was awarded for related research.
This works because particles essentially get stuck between peaks of the light wave as it propagates forward, like a surfer riding a swell. As the wave rotates, it acts like a sort of whirlpool of light, trapping the particle in place. …