In nearly every science fiction piece of pop culture out there, it comes with laser guns. BUT there is only one that stands above them all with laser swords that can cut through absolutely anything. Before it seemed impossible, but new science says we might actually be able to make one.
Star Wars doesn’t really explain much about what a lightsaber is. Is it laser beam, burning plasma or a blade of some sort of energy? George Lucas once mentioned it was a laser blade, however, it would be impossible to keep a laser from shooting off forever.
It’s pretty much safe to say that the money is on the plasma theory, and with that theory, we have some good news. Plasma is the fourth state of matter – with enough heat gases become plasma, which means their atoms are stripped from electrons.
Scientist Don Lincoln described exactly how a plasma lightsaber could work – “Because a plasma is electrically conductive, it can convey a large electrical current to the target material, heating it up and melting it. […] Plasmas, being composed of charged particles (some with very high velocities), can be manipulated by magnetic fields.”
In other words, if you control high energy plasma with a magnetic field into a somewhat sword shape you would be able to create a lightsaber. The only problem is that you wouldn’t able to fight with them – the blades would pass through each other.
A new hope arose in 2013 when physicists from Harvard and MIT were able to create a new matter called photonic molecules. They did this by launching photons through a cloud of cooled atoms, allowing them to group together to move through the cloud. Basically, they created little globs of light that stick together instead of passing through one another. So if we were to make lightsabers out of these molecules, they would bounce against each other.
This is all really just in theory, but it’s pretty cool to think it’s possible.