With the new episode of Star Wars, every seems to be going crazy about the movie’s iconic weapon, the lightsaber. On lightsabers and science-fictions there is much to be said.
Since the franchise went on live nearly 40 years ago (feel old enough yet?), everybody is wondering whether constructing a lightsaber is feasible or not. Many scientists have come up with wacky ways in order to duplicate the elegant weapon used by the Jedi knights.
Seems this question has once again emerged after many decades. One scientist has dared to make a stand in order to give an answer to our life-long question: can we actually construct a lightsaber?
James Bennet, a scientist working for the University of Queensland, said that, unfortunately, the weapon is not going to cross over the science-fiction border. Bennet, an eminent member of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum System argued that we will not be able to construct a lightsaber like the one from the movies because the prospect itself is seriously flawed.
The scientist added that one cannot contain a laser beam to a specific length. According to Star Wars wiki, a Jedi’s lightsaber was made from pure laser energy, enhanced and concentrated via special crystals located in the sword’s hilt. The crystal would supply the beam with energy and it would also be capable of giving the laser beam a specific color.
Furthermore, Bennet commented that if one wants to design and build a lightsaber from scratch, then his best guess would be to try and reason with plasma. The Queensland scientists said that plasma would be your best bet in order to construct such a weapon, but even then it would prove difficult to contain the beam.
There are a couple of limitations to this prospect. First of all, even if we were to come up with a feasible way to manipulate plasma in order to create a homogenous beam, there will still be the problem of radiation. Once the device start, it would expose the user to deadly radiation and that wouldn’t come in handy when you’re planning on battling the Sith.
The second issue would be energy. According to Bennet, such a device would require a large power source in order to function. However, he also suggested that plasma could be kept in check using strong electromagnets, in order to contain the beam.
In the end, Bennet declared that with the technology we have available it is easy to construct a light saw, but the project itself would be massive.
Well, it seems, fellow Star Wars fans, that we have to wait a while longer for our dream to come true. Until then, may the Force be with you!