Lightsabers are certainly elegant weapons for a civilized age, but at the moment they only exist in the world of science fiction. Could we use the modern technology we have today to create the most famous weapon of all time? It is legitimate to ask whether the manufacture of a real lightsaber is really possible in view of its complexity.
Given the impact of the Star Wars franchise on culture and society, it is inevitable that some of the public would seek to build a lightsaber, and even train with one. A few DIY geniuses have been able to make their mark.
Indeed, even if most of us would like to own a real lightsaber, some people take this desire more seriously than others. Several physicists and engineers have set out to fulfill the dream of millions of Star Wars fans. Did they succeed? This is what we are going to see through all the tracks exploited by those being in search of making this lightsaber.
At the risk of dashing the dreams of some readers and taking into account the features needed to make one. The thing seems to be well compromised...
Given its name and appearance, the first obvious thought that comes to mind when talking about a real cutting lightsaber is some sort of ultra powerful laser. Indeed, the laser produces a highly directional beam of light that can be used for everything from etching metal surfaces to eye surgery. So why not use it to fight the dark side of the force? Unfortunately, this seemingly instinctive choice is easy to dismiss since it has several difficulties.
Probably the most fundamental problem is that the blade of a lightsaber must be able to stop at a distance of about 1 meter from the handle. However, a laser beam like any type of light never stops unless something in its path absorbs or reflects its energy. Handling the sword would therefore be extremely difficult and a real nightmare in combat.
With an infinitely large blade, you could accidentally cut a passerby or anything else you care about. One solution would be to cover the end of the blade with a mirror to confine the laser beam, but then you wouldn't be able to drive the tip into anyone. Also, building a structure to hold the mirror in place would take away from the elegance and grace of a lightsaber.
Producing a high-powered laser beam still requires a lot of hardware today. While some pretty amazing technological advances have made high-powered lasers smaller, you would still need a cooling system to prevent the assembly from overheating. This requirement means that it would be difficult to build a lightsaber that you could physically carry on your back.
Lasers powerful enough to do damage require a significant amount of energy, so the sword would not work with standard batteries. Such energy stored in such a small space is currently not available. And unfortunately the Kyber crystals that power the lightsabers in the Star Wars movies are fictional and do not exist in reality.
However, the first prototypes of military laser weapons are beginning to appear, notably with the US Navy's laser cannon. But this technology is more similar to the Death Star than to our real lightsabers.
As we have seen, a laser beam is easily reflected, it would be simple for your opponent to protect himself with a mirror, or even to turn the beam of your lightsaber against you!
In addition, it would be impossible to have lightsaber blades face each other, the light beams are not strong and would simply pass through each other, making the duel impossible.
These fictitious weapons are also famous for their characteristic noises as well as for the laser's burst of colored light. However, a laser beam cannot be seen from the side unless the air is particularly smoky or dusty. This is why lasers are always used in conjunction with smoke machines in clubs or concert halls. Like an oversized laser pointer, a lightsaber would be virtually invisible. Unless, of course, it was aimed directly into your eye, in which case it would probably be the last thing you would see.
And just as waving a torch doesn't make any noise, you guessed it, wielding your lightsaber would be silent. And let's face it, even the most famous Jedi like Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi would look pretty pathetic wielding a silent invisible sword.
In conclusion, lightsabers as depicted in Star Wars are currently not a reality with the laser technology we currently have. While advances may one day solve the power and size concerns, the fundamental problem of light beam length really complicates matters. Unless physicists have found us a more suitable solution than lasers.
A more realistic and suitable technology for building a lightsaber would be plasma. Indeed, plasma is the fourth state of matter (with solids, liquids and gases), less known to others, it is commonly used in our everyday life, especially in neon lights. Perhaps by deepening this track, we will see more clearly.
Plasma cutters produce hot plasma jets that are used to cut conductive materials such as steel, aluminum or copper. However, with today's technology, a plasma cutter must be connected to a large power source of electricity. Even the most powerful plasma cutters in the world could not create a beam large enough to be comparable in size and power to a lightsaber.
In addition, other calculation errors prevent this solution :
Click on the video to discover the first version of the Proto-Saber in video!
It is therefore possible to make a plasma lightsaber (or rather a proto-lightsaber). But it is not a real light saber since it does not have the properties of a solid object.
The plasma being positively charged, researchers are currently working on a model which consists in using magnetic fields to constrain it in a defined space in order to profile a blade.
The main problem is that a plasma in a magnetic field is not particularly rigid. You would be able to create a coherent shape, but it would be impossible to use it as a weapon because the heat would be unbearable.
Also, it would be enough for your opponent to disturb the magnetic containment field with magnets to completely change its shape. This could lead to the risk of frying you completely.
➡ To recapitulate, it would be necessary to create an innovation which allows a light beam to :
As you can see, there are still a lot of points to be settled. Lasers and magnetic plasma projections are not yet the right technologies to hope to achieve our goals. Taking into account these considerations and the added limitations, we have to conclude that for the time being we will have to be satisfied with a Laser Saber with a luminous polycarbonate blade for example.
And that's just fine because we have just the thing for you! Our light and sound lightsabers are equipped with a multi-colored LED that allows you to change colors quickly. These fictitious but faithful weapons also have a built-in speaker. It plays up to 5 sound effects to immerse you in your role as a Jedi Knight or Sith Lord! 👇
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