Yes! We can! This article via BBC makes me want to call out, “YEAH! Lasers!”
“The researchers used a so-called hollow laser beam in a laboratory at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. The laser is bright around the edges and dark at its center,” BBC reports.
Okay, so they only moved some particles about 20 centimeters, but it is still really awesome. They say, “the doughnut-shaped laser is also reversible – so it can either repel or attract objects.”
What does this mean for the future? Well, currently they’re wondering what would happen if the size of the laser was scaled up. (Beam me up, Scotty!). The article says that “in future, these beams could be used to study atmospheric pollutants, or to retrieve delicate particles of material for examination.”
But believe me, I’m not the only one picturing a cow being pulled up by a UFO.
Lasers are here to stay. They’re currently used for repairing detached retinas and other eye surgeries, in CD and DVD players, cutting fabric for clothes, identifying viruses, gauging fine wines, cauterizing blood vessels… and thousands of other things.
So imagine what the future would look like if we could move things with them.
This is where great writers of science fiction come into play. Many of our current technologies were inspired by writings of comic books, classic novels, and television/film. For example, a device inspired by the invisibility cloak used by Harry Potter in J. K. Rowling’s famous series is actually near completion.
Just check out this article where they make a cat (partially) disappear: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/chinese-scientists-increasingly-confident-about-invisibility-cloak-after-making-a-cat-disappear-8997917.html