Could the lightsabers from "Star Wars" need not exist in a galaxy far far away? Could they exist on earth? How could they be even possible?
'Star Wars' Lightsaber
Gizmodo covers why this could be possible according to a Physics Professor Emeritus from the University of South Florida. The professor noted that the "Star Wars'' lightsaber is usually associated with some kind of laser or laser beam capable of burning, cutting, or damaging an enemy.
Ever since their invention in 1960, there have been a lot of uses for lasers. These go from the 0.001 Watt red laser for UPC codes at grocery checkouts, the eye-safe 1 Watt IR laser for mapping out buildings and even roadways through lidar (or the laser radar), and even remote sensing lasers used to measure ozone hole and CO2 levels.
Typical Industrial Lasers
When it comes to burning or cutting, however, there have been industrial lasers used to cut metal plates or weld car bodies. The power supplies used in these lasers, however, are usually the size of at least a large suitcase and way over 50 pounds. In addition to this, laser beams come through different colors or wavelengths adding another aspect to this.
One technically infeasible concept is how the lightsaber acts like a rod which is capable of hitting or striking the opponent. The "hum" sound also doesn't really make sense since photos have no mass meaning lasers or optic beams have no mass. There have already been attempts to create the "Star Wars" lightsaber back in 2015.
There is, however, an exception according to Arthur Ashkin, the physics Nobel Prize winner, and this is that a laser beam under the right conditions can actually be used as a kind of optical trap or optical tweezer in order to trap and move smaller objects like bacteria. There is, however, a huge difference between moving bacteria and the mass of something like a starship.
The physics professor then noted that it can be argued that the "Star Wars'' lightsaber isn't actually a laser beam but rather made from gaseous high-temperature plasma or even plasma-like tubes. Plasmas are technically high-temperature gaseous discharges. They consist of electrons and ions with temperatures heating from 5,000 to 10,000 degrees Celsius or even higher!
'Star Wars' Plasma Lightsaber
Plasmas are also represented through gas discharges inside of a fluorescent tube, a bolt of lightning, and the solar wind of plasma seen in the northern lights. How can one create a rod of plasma that is stable in the atmosphere? One way noted is through using a high-power laser and focusing it towards a certain spot in the air with a Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, or LIBS.
This creates a plasma spot in the air emitting a fluorescent light coming from the plasma ball. This, however, would still limit the mobility and functionality of the "Star Wars" lightsaber. A "Star Wars" lightsaber-inspired plasma lightsaber was already seemingly created. Although not as close as expected, this could be the closest any lightsaber has ever been to a real "Star Wars" lightsaber.
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Written by Urian B.