Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Plane waves as tractor beams

Abstract : It is shown that in a large class of systems plane waves can act as tractor beams: i.e., an incident plane wave can exert a pulling force on the scatterer. The underlying physical mechanism for the pulling force is due to the sufficiently strong scattering of the incoming wave into another mode having a larger wave number, in which case excess momentum is created behind the scatterer. Such a tractor beam or negative radiation pressure effect arises naturally in systems where the coupling between the scattering channels is due to Aharonov-Bohm (AB) gauge potentials. It is demonstrated that this effect is also present if the AB potential is an induced, ("artificial") gauge potential such as the one found in J. March-Russell, J. Preskill, F. Wilczek, Phys. Rev. Lett. 58 2567 (1992).
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Peter Forgacs <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 11:08:50 AM
Last modification on : Friday, February 19, 2021 - 4:10:03 PM

Links full text


  • HAL Id : hal-01169771, version 1
  • ARXIV : 1303.3237



Péter Forgács, Árpád Lukács, Tomasz Romańczukiewicz. Plane waves as tractor beams. Physical Review D, American Physical Society, 2013, 88 (125007), pp.5. ⟨hal-01169771⟩



Record views