Everyone who has watched the Star Wars movies has had one thing on their mind; How does Darth Vader pee? Which you may even find the answer to in this quiz based around the new movie. But aside from that, there is the lightsaber – the coolest weapon to come out of any movie ever. Ever since it appeared way back in 1977, every fan has wondered when they can own their own limb-endangering keeper of peace. Science has come a long way since then, and now, we may have a better answer than you would have thought.
Starting with what we have at the moment, let’s have a look at the TEC torch. Firing out 4,000 degrees worth of jet, it can cut through metal. Which is pretty cool and similar to a lightsaber. But, with a two second burning time it leaves a lot to be desired. Even if the handle does look a lot like the lightsaber’s beam emitter.
And that is because the type of blade it emits isn’t the same as a lightsaber; the key word being light. So, for a real lightsaber to exist, scientists have to figure out a way to create a laser blade – which may be closer than we think! So we can expect a lightsaber like blade in the future! (Not soon, but at some point). But with that comes other issues.
The first problem being the reflection of said light. Imagine you finally have your own lightsaber, you stand in front of the mirror to check yourself out, strike a few poses and then BAM! Accidental self-impalement. And all because the rules of physics require that lasers (as a form of light) are able to reflect. So that is a big problem (perhaps not in a lab, but everyday for sure).
Then there is blade length. Light being light, you cannot contain or control how long it is, so until science finds a way to control light there is going to be a very clear and present danger of an incredibly long lightsaber blade burning through everything in its path for indescribable amounts of distance. And again, that would be a very hard thing to control outside of a laboratory.
Source: Wicked Lasers
So what do you have available right now that could take the place of a lightsaber? Well, there is this (See above). Basically just a high-powered laser, but it looks the part. However, it does have all the problems present that I have mentioned, mainly a dangerous beam. Capable of burning skin or though certain materials it isn’t a toy by any stretch, and nor is it a solid beam-instead more of a higher-powered laser pointer. And sadly that seems to be as far as we are going to get at the moment.
There is one thing we know for sure though, if the lightsaber were invented, with all the state-of-the-art technology involved, it would almost certainly be the most expensive weapon around.