Lift occurs when a push in one direction causes an object to move perpendicularly to that push. In the new lightfoil, light takes the place of the typical air or water to create that flow on a small scale. The team, led by Grover Swartzlander, fashioned micro-rods in the shape of an airplane wing (one side flat, one side rounded) and submerged them in water. Then they shot these lightfoils with 130 milliwatts of light, creating, for the first time optical lift. The rods moved up and to the side, as can be seen in the video below.