Watch a Powerful Laser Beam Push a Piece of Foil Forward

By Casey Chan on at

Watch this powerful laser shining into a piece of aluminium foil suspended in a vacuum and, fascinatingly, you’ll see the foil starting to sway back and forth from the ultra light beam.

Cody’s Lab says “the light imparts momentum(P=E/C)” and explains that this works similarly to the solar sail — a type of spacecraft propulsion that uses light (sunlight, lasers, etc.) beamed on mirrors to create radiation pressure and push itself forward through space.

It’s pretty neat to see light create movement, even if it’s on a much smaller scale than a spacecraft sailing off on pure sunlight.