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Scientists develop 'lightsaber' molecules

Posted on Friday, 27 September, 2013 | Comment icon 6 comments

The lightsaber is one of the most recognizable weapons in movie history. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Master Alexus
Physicists have been able to create a form of 'light-matter' reminiscent of the lightsabers in Star Wars.
The research focuses on the way in which light particles known as photons, which possess no detectable mass, interact with one another. Photons are traditionally unable to stick together so that if two lasers beams were to collide for instance they would simply pass through one another.

Physicists Mikhail Lukin and Vladan Vuletic however have managed to change all that by developing a way to get photons to stick together to form light molecules. The resulting 'light-matter' is similar in concept to the lightsabers in Star Wars that consist of a solid and coherent blade of light. "The physics of what's happening in these molecules is similar to what we see in the movies," said Lukin.

While it sounds promising, the concept at the moment exists only in the lab and can only be reproduced under very special conditions that exist nowhere else on Earth. Scientists believe that this technology could prove invaluable in the future development of quantum computers and that it may eventually be possible to produce entire crystals entirely out of light.

Source: CNN | Comments (6)

Tags: Lightsaber

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ash68 on 27 September, 2013, 18:45
Reminiscent in comparison and only produced under special conditions,so nothing like a light sabre then unless of course it makes those cool sounds when you swing it.
Comment icon #2 Posted by RedDusk on 28 September, 2013, 2:11
So much yes, yet so much disappointment. All my childhood memories of playing Star Wars on the playground are coming back x.x
Comment icon #3 Posted by Rogue Suga on 28 September, 2013, 2:21
It looks like party lights
Comment icon #4 Posted by Chooky88 on 29 September, 2013, 10:34
Baby steps. Kudos for trying. The problem with Lasers is they go on 'forever'. I'm sure there will be applications for this technology we haven't dreamed of :-)
Comment icon #5 Posted by bigjonalien on 29 September, 2013, 23:00
Far far away from the gravity blade tho
Comment icon #6 Posted by Emeraldgemheart on 10 October, 2013, 18:57
Run for your lives. The next thing that's coming out is scientists trying to breed frogs with slugs to make Jabba the Hut.

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