Are Real Lightsabers Possible?

Photons don't have mass or a charge, so they don't naturally interact with one another as they shoot through space at the speed of light. But physicists from Harvard and MIT have figured out a way to create "photonic molecules," in which photons push and repel each other in clumps. They did so by launching the photons through a cloud of cooled rubidium atoms, prompting them to group together in order to move through the cloud. Though the invention of a real lightsaber is still far off, the scientists have drawn comparisons between their work and the glowing weapons of the movies.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. The Death Star's laser would need to be a million billion times more powerful than the most powerful laser fired to date. 01:26

  2. Physicists at Harvard and MIT have managed to stick photons together. 02:49

  3. Boeing has patented the idea for a laser force field that would create plasma to protect against the shockwave from an explosion. 03:41

Written By Curiosity Staff December 17, 2015