Scientists Create New Matter Likened to Lightsabers

Scientists Create New Matter Likened to Lightsabers

Harvard and MIT scientists played around with theories on light and created molecules that behave like a certain laser weapon in Star Wars.

Decades of science have shown if you point two laser beams at each other, nothing futuristic like a lightsaber fight from Star Wars will happen. That is, until physicists Mikhail Lukin of Harvard and Vladan Vuletic of MIT coaxed photons into binding together to create molecules.

Photons, elementary particles that represent light, have no mass and cannot interact with each other. Lukin and Vuletic challenged traditional conceptions of the particle by creating a medium in which they can interact with each other as if they have mass. Through the collision of photons, "photonic molecules" form.

"It's not an in-apt analogy to compare this to lightsabers," Lukin said. "When these photons interact with each other, they're pushing against and deflect each other. The physics of what's happening in these molecules is similar to what we see in the movies."

Star Wars' iconic weapon, the lightsaber, works by moving light particles in a solid mass. In the Harvard-MIT research, scientists fired two photons in a cloud of atoms, which slows the photons. In the experiment, the two photons exited together as one molecule. Lukin describes this effect as the Rydberg blockade: when an atom is excited, nearby atoms cannot be excited to the same degree. When two photons enter an atom cloud, the first proton excites the atom and slows down while the second is pushing ahead to excite atoms as well, and the two photons push and pull each other through the cloud.

"We are hopeful that new applications may emerge as we continue to investigate these photonic molecules' properties," he said.

Source: Phys.org

Permalink

No attention to the fact that the man's name is Lukin? I guess that was too easy.

It's happening, it's fucking happening

sid:
It's happening, it's fucking happening

Hold your tauntauns buddy. I'm excited too, but lightsaber technology is still far from reality.

Adam Jensen:

sid:
It's happening, it's fucking happening

Hold your tauntauns buddy. I'm excited too, but lightsaber technology is still far from reality.

oh, don't even try blowing this for me. I see the future, Jensen, and it involves space ninjas in robes

sid:

Adam Jensen:

sid:
It's happening, it's fucking happening

Hold your tauntauns buddy. I'm excited too, but lightsaber technology is still far from reality.

oh, don't even try blowing this for me. I see the future, Jensen, and it involves space ninjas in robes

I just really wanted to say "hold your tauntauns".

Water on Mars and now potential lightsabers? Things are getting good.

Adam Jensen:

sid:
It's happening, it's fucking happening

Hold your tauntauns buddy. I'm excited too, but lightsaber technology is still far from reality.

Not only far, but virtually impossible.

Don't get me wrong. It would be incredible if we could invent such a thing. But even if we could, some how, get some kind of "light beam" to coalesce into a "sword" that only extends to a certain distance, it would never remain that way the moment you touched it to anything.

Not to mention, for it to be able to "cut" through anything as it does in the films, it would have to be in the tens to hundreds of millions of degrees F. As such, just holding the thing in your hands would cause you to combust.

:P

Adam Jensen:

I just really wanted to say "hold your tauntauns".

I'm just glad you didn't say Ewoks...

Vigormortis:

Adam Jensen:

sid:
It's happening, it's fucking happening

Hold your tauntauns buddy. I'm excited too, but lightsaber technology is still far from reality.

Not only far, but virtually impossible.

Don't get me wrong. It would be incredible if we could invent such a thing. But even if we could, some how, get some kind of "light beam" to coalesce into a "sword" that only extends to a certain distance, it would never remain that way the moment you touched it to anything.

Not to mention, for it to be able to "cut" through anything as it does in the films, it would have to be in the tens to hundreds of millions of degrees F. As such, just holding the thing in your hands would cause you to combust.

Yup. It would have to emit heat without emitting heat.

Lukin and Vuletic. Luke and Vader. Ha! Love it.

Ukomba:
Lukin and Vuletic. Luke and Vader. Ha! Love it.

Ninja'ed: This is just plain evidence of the Force in action.

You cannot make this shit up.

Holy shit, they made solid light.
Force fields are around the corner.

Vigormortis:

Adam Jensen:

sid:
It's happening, it's fucking happening

Hold your tauntauns buddy. I'm excited too, but lightsaber technology is still far from reality.

Not only far, but virtually impossible.

Don't get me wrong. It would be incredible if we could invent such a thing. But even if we could, some how, get some kind of "light beam" to coalesce into a "sword" that only extends to a certain distance, it would never remain that way the moment you touched it to anything.

Not to mention, for it to be able to "cut" through anything as it does in the films, it would have to be in the tens to hundreds of millions of degrees F. As such, just holding the thing in your hands would cause you to combust.

:P

According to Wookiepedia (yup, I'm going that far)
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Lightsaber
"The weapon consisted of a blade of pure plasma emitted from the hilt and suspended in a force containment field. The field contained the immense heat of the plasma, protecting the wielder, and allowed the blade to keep its shape."

A lightsaber blade only emitted heat once contact is made. Also uses a recycling power supply - the Force field energy feeding back into itself - for extended battery life.

Okay.... nerd off.. :P

roseofbattle:
Scientists Create New Matter Likened to Lightsabers

Harvard and MIT scientists played around with theories on light and created molecules that behave like a certain laser weapon in Star Wars.

Decades of science have shown if you point two laser beams at each other, nothing futuristic like a lightsaber fight from Star Wars will happen. That is, until physicists Mikhail Lukin of Harvard and Vladan Vuletic of MIT coaxed photons into binding together to create molecules.

Photons, elementary particles that represent light, have no mass and cannot interact with each other. Lukin and Vuletic challenged traditional conceptions of the particle by creating a medium in which they can interact with each other as if they have mass. Through the collision of photons, "photonic molecules" form.

"It's not an in-apt analogy to compare this to lightsabers," Lukin said. "When these photons interact with each other, they're pushing against and deflect each other. The physics of what's happening in these molecules is similar to what we see in the movies."

Star Wars' iconic weapon, the lightsaber, works by moving light particles in a solid mass. In the Harvard-MIT research, scientists fired two photons in a cloud of atoms, which slows the photons. In the experiment, the two photons exited together as one molecule. Lukin describes this effect as the Rydberg blockade: when an atom is excited, nearby atoms cannot be excited to the same degree. When two photons enter an atom cloud, the first proton excites the atom and slows down while the second is pushing ahead to excite atoms as well, and the two photons push and pull each other through the cloud.

"We are hopeful that new applications may emerge as we continue to investigate these photonic molecules' properties," he said.

Source: Phys.org

Permalink

So they got light to bounce of each other, so looks wise yes you could say they behave like a tiny bit like a lightsaber.

But in reality it's nothing like a lightsaber, since lightsabers are made out of plasma not light (thought they do emit light, like the sun). So when lightsabers clash it's actually two streams of contained plasma hitting each other.

I love you science........I love you soooooooooooo much. Photonic molecules baby, It sounds cool just saying it.

All they need to do is colorize that stuff and the nerdrage thereafter will be uncontainable.

Also, sorry and thanks Marter!

you know what other technology uses the principle of binding photons to create mass? Star Trek's Holographic emitters.

that's right, this principle has two applications, both of them are awesome :D

Actually, if you're willing to sacrifice some authenticity in design, I once read a pretty plausible explanation of how a Lightsaber could work.

It's from the infamous Unreal4Ever mod for Unreal Tournament. The Light Sword, a lightsaber knockoff.

The Light Sword utilizes a strong force field to hold rigid a wire only a few atoms thick. A atomic destabilization field is applied to the wire, thus allowing it to break the atomic links in even the strongest forms of matter. The result is a blade that is sharper then any other in existence and capable of carving it's way through any matter imaginable.

so, photon walls. forcefields, indestructible facilities, oh my the applications are endless. forget light sabers, this is more, MUCH MORE.

sid:

Adam Jensen:

sid:
It's happening, it's fucking happening

Hold your tauntauns buddy. I'm excited too, but lightsaber technology is still far from reality.

oh, don't even try blowing this for me. I see the future, Jensen, and it involves space ninjas in robes

Kurai Angelo:

Ukomba:
Lukin and Vuletic. Luke and Vader. Ha! Love it.

Ninja'ed: This is just plain evidence of the Force in action.

You cannot make this shit up.

Hah! Much laughs were had!

Also, this is awesome all over the place. Heh. Imagine an ACTUAL lightsaber kickstarter :P

In a more immediately useful (less cool?) application of this tech, it can be used to carry quantum information at some point. The article also stated the possibility of this helping with power dissapation in computers. So we could see some very useful results.

This is a new state of matter, we have no idea what the applications could be going forward. The possibilities are huge.

sid:
It's happening, it's fucking happening

Seems like our so-called "lightsabers" would need to emit a cone of gas around the blade at all times, and would need an incredibly OP laser to emit enough photons in the first place to "push off of" a solid opponent.

That's not to say a "real lightsaber" couldn't be done with this technology, I'm just saying it would be no match for a good blaster at your side.

 

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