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5/2/15 Cover


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Laser tripod may lift mirror

A tripod of laser beams bouncing off three lower mirrors could lift and stabilize a smaller mirror. The design could help scientists measure small-scale gravitational forces.

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Guest post by Andrew Grant

The pressure exerted by three weak laser beams could hold up a small mirror. The laser tripod would levitate a 2-millimeter-wide mirror and stabilize it so that it barely vibrates, physicists propose October 29 in Physical Review Letters.

In the future researchers could use this type of carefully crafted laser-levitation system to detect subtle gravitational forces, which are difficult to measure at very small scales.

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