We've been waiting for honest-to-goodness tractor beams since Shatner was still sitting in the captain's chair. Now—finally—NASA's investing real cash money to spur the development of Zero Point technology.
NASA is funding studies on three specific laser-based technologies. The most well known is the "optical tweezer" method which employs a hollow laser beam to move small objects using air pressure differences. Problem is—it needs an atmosphere in order to work. The Solenoid beam's proven propulsion method pushes objects using intensity peaks that corkscrew around a central beam. Bessel beams, on the other hand, trap and transport objects in a series intensity troughs that resemble a sine wave—though they haven't successfully pulled an object, only pushed.