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How To Make A Scifi Tractor Beam....


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The easy way: Fire high energy lasers in a circular pattern around the perimeter of your target on it's side walls (not any directly facing you).

The resulting ablation plumes will propel the target toward you... albeit slowly.

 

The hard way:

Create a beam with cold plasma side walls holding in a magnetic gas.

 

How in the world the technical challenges would be overcome is anyone's guess but the physics are sound.

 

Plasma can act like a wall and keep air in, and certain gases can be magnetized when cooled.

 

So with that, I presume such a beam would require fixed entry and exit points, and hopefully magnetized platforms could be used to fly through the beam tunnel.

https://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-09/scientists-create-first-ever-magnetic-gas/

Edited by Spacescifi
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39 minutes ago, Spacescifi said:

Fire high energy lasers in a circular pattern around the perimeter of your target on it's side walls (not any directly facing you).

The resulting ablation plumes will propel the target toward you... albeit slowly.

You would need to hit the back side of the target for this to work even hypothetically.

39 minutes ago, Spacescifi said:

The hard way:

Create a beam with cold plasma side walls holding in a magnetic gas.

How do you do that? What is this magnetic gas? 

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Posted (edited)
Just now, Shpaget said:

You would need to hit the back side of the target for this to work even hypothetically.

How do you do that? What is this magnetic gas? 

 

That is the billion dollar question!

 

The article mentions lithium gas though.

Edited by Spacescifi
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Raises an question why? Pulling an hostile ship inside the shield and armor of an capital ship has some security issues. 
Better to deploy an shuttle with an boarding crew

Not saying it would not been an cool thing  for salvage and stuff. 

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, magnemoe said:

Raises an question why? Pulling an hostile ship inside the shield and armor of an capital ship has some security issues. 
Better to deploy an shuttle with an boarding crew

Not saying it would not been an cool thing  for salvage and stuff. 

 

Um.... I was thinking of an uber long tractor beam from the OP directly into space.

 

Let rocket boost off the platform and only use propellant for orbital insertion and landing later.

 

You know I am always thinking of SSTOs.

 

Should have known lol.

Edited by Spacescifi
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That's a waste of resources. You'd still need to use the rockets to boost the orbit of your tractor beam installation.

Also, ablating your hull to achieve propulsion, when rocket tech is available is just ridiculous.

Edited by Shpaget
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2 minutes ago, Spacescifi said:

 

Um.... I was thinking of an uber long tractor beam from the OP directly into space.

 

Let rocket boost off the platform and only use propellant for orbital insertion and landing later.

 

You know I am always thinking of SSTOs.

 

Should have known lol.

And I about security and orbital operations.  

But yes grabbing something in the outer atmosphere and pulling up would be nice but if you had tech like that lifting ship sized cargoes to orbit would be easy. 

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Ok, tractor beams are fine in sci-fi, but in real life are kinda stupid. They still have to impart the same delta v a burn would...why would you bring whatever fuels your tractor beam runs on instead of just bringing fuel? Also Newtons Laws being you'd suck yourself into your target and all that.

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It's not enough to pull it up, it's necessary to accelerate it up to 8 km/s to stop it from falling down.

Unless you have a permanent antigravity ship. But then why need this pulling.

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19 hours ago, HebaruSan said:

Why not a swarm of anti-matter powered nanobots that "get out and push"?

Benefit is that its a bit safer than dropping nukes and detonating behind or an external feed orion drive. 

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