These Scientists Can Move Matter Without Lifting a Finger

There’s a new kind of forcefield in town.

By Becky FogelApril 18, 2016 2:18 pm| ,

Moving an object without having to touch it – telekinesis – isn’t just science fiction.

Researchers in Texas have come up with a way to move things around in the lab without lifting a finger. It’s a process they’ve dubbed Teslaphoresis.

Ladies and gentlemen, the force field is with us. Paul Cherukuri is a chemistry professor at Rice University, he’s one of the developers of this new technology.

Teslaphoresis references Nikola Tesla – who invented the Tesla coil, a strong radio frequency transmitter – and the word phoresis, which means moving, motion of material or motion of particles.

“We generate a very smoothly varying electric field that comes off of the surface,” Cherukuri says. “That’s part of the design. We wanted to generate a forcefield, not generate lightning. Once we had that kind of control, we could actually move things at a distance using these force fields. The physics of it was there, was known, but nobody has really figured out a way to scale up the forcefield.”

That’s what they did. They scaled up the forcefield and applied it to nanotubes – minuscule carbon molecules shaped like tiny tubes.

“They’re the poster child of nanotechnology,” Cherukuri says.


Nanotubes are a billionth of a meter in diameter and several hundreds of nanometers long.

“If you string them together you can make a nice wire out of them, one of the best wires in the world can be made out of nanotubes,” Churikuri says. “But people haven’t figured out how to do that yet. So that’s what we’re going to do next.”

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.

This post prepared for web by Beth Cortez-Neavel.