Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Science or Sci-Fi?

Hi there, my name is Will Harris and welcome to my science blog!

In our modern world, we see a huge amount of science fiction. It is everywhere, on television, movies, magazines, advertising and even on cereal boxes. We all know and recognise a lot of the characters, whether it’s your favourite masked vigilante or a mysterious Jedi warrior. But did you ever stop and think;

Could the tools/weapons these characters use ever be replicated in the real world?

This is the idea that I will explore in this and following blogs. Cold the science fiction items be replicated scientifically and if so, what would the real world applications and problems that come with it?

So to start off, I will begin with a weapon that any person that pays slight attention to pop culture in the last 50 year swill know;

The Light-Saber.

For any of you reading this that are thinking ‘Does he mean LifeSaver?’, let me clear the concept up for you. A Light-Saber is a weapon that is carried by powerful warriors known as the Jedi (also carried by the evil Sith) in the world of Star Wars. The weapons resemble a metallic sword hilt (not a small circular lolly), that when activated, projects a laser-like blade from it that can be used for combat, cutting through objects and deflecting laser bullets.

According to an article on the Live Science website, any possible real world Lightsaber is scientifically impossible. The article states that the lightsabre blade itself appears to be some form of ‘electrically generated plasma’ which immediately presents two issues.

The first is that the power source that would be required for this type of weapon would be immense. In no way could the amount of energy required for the generation and maintaining of the blade fit into a battery sized storage.

The second of the issues is that in the Star Wars films, we see that the Lightsabers blade ends approximately a metre from its origin at the handle. The issue here is that laser s cannot stop mid-air without some form of buffer. Understanding that there is no stopper produced by the lightsaber means that in reality, the blade would continue indefinitely.

Now that we have completely shattered the dreams of approximately half of the population, lets look at the ‘what if’s of the lightsabre.

The Good:

A tool like the lightsabre has some good applications for the real world, despite it’s obvious danger. The lightsabre cac cut through just about anything, meaning new possibilities for a range of industries, mining, crafting, science and many more. Also, the lightsabre  ould be used for quick welding or military purposes.

The Bad:

Obviously, the lightsabre could be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands. Despite the helpfulness of cutting through any material, that means that these swords would be a danger to everyone no matter their protection. Also, having a weapon that can deflect bullets and burn through metal would be too tasty a morcel for war criminals that would use the weapon to kill. Also there is a high risk of self harm as the blade causes instant burning and cuts as soon as it touches another object.

So in summary, the Light-Saber is something that we are not likely to see in the real world (probably a good thing). Next week, we will look at one of the most famous hero and multimillionaire’s incredible armour…

Karl Tate, Infographics Artist   |   May 04, 2015 02:47pm ET

Star Wars Series, 2016, LucasArts-Disney


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This entry was posted on April 12, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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