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.
Key Facts In This Video
The Death Star's laser would need to be a million billion times more powerful than the most powerful laser fired to date. (1:26)
Physicists at Harvard and MIT have managed to stick photons together. (2:49)
Boeing has patented the idea for a laser force field that would create plasma to protect against the shockwave from an explosion. (3:41)