Image Credit: Hong Tang and Yale University.
Scientist Hong Yang at Yale University has proven the ability to "manipulate circuits on silicon board with attractive light" and has now done the same with repulsive light. The technology splits a beam of infrared light down two nano-wires which then causes the silicon chips to move perpindicular to the direction of the light and nano-wires. The ability to control these components in both directions now means that they have complete control over an object -- though at an incredibly small scale -- through the use of light alone. Says Yang, "We've demonstrated that these are tunable forces we can engineer." Small as it may seem, this is an incredible breakthrough considering the ability to engineer functional technology powered by the physical force of light is possible. Photosythesis is the naturally occuring process that allows plants, algea, and bacteria to use sunlight to process carbon dioxide into natural energy-providing elements. Considered as a sustaining source of all carbon-based lifeforms on Earth, photosynthesis -- the conversion of light into energy -- can be viewed as a fundamental condition for "life". Yang's findings may lay the foundation for "living" materials that function and exist indefinately under the power light.
"Photosystem: A light-harvesting cluster of photosynthetic pigments present in the thylakoid membrane of chloroplasts." via Wikipedia.
Seen on i09 and Physics.org.