Researchers from the Australian National University have built a working tractor beam of sorts, ensuring that those wily rebels won't get far, as long as their spaceship is the size of tiny glass particles.
We might not be towing starships anytime soon, but if you need to move small particles about a meter and a half using only the power of laser light, then this device is the one you've been waiting for.
It's actually rather simple. Particles of glass are suspended inside a hollow laser beam. While the outside of the beam grows hot, the center stays cool, due to a process scientists absolutely do not call the McDLT effect. If the particle starts to stray towards the sides, agitated heated air molecules push it back towards the center of the beam. By placing a laser at either end, scientists can manipulate the intensity coming from each side. If more heat comes from one end, it'll push the molecule towards the other.
Actually it sounds a little bit like the Excursion Tunnels showing up in Valve's Portal 2, only much smaller.