According to the Guardian, Harvard and MIT physicists recently discovered a way to bind photons to make them behave similarly to the limb-searing lightsabers of jedi battles seen in the Star Wars film franchise. According to Harvard physics professor Mikhail Lukin, the resulting pseudo-solid form of photons is silver screen material. “It’s not an in-apt analogy to compare this to lightsabers,” said Lukin. “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.”
Though Lukin and his colleagues have no plans to channel said technological discovery toward creating a lightsaber prototype, let’s take pause to reflect on what a future full of real lightsabers would look like. J.J. Abrams could cut a hefty chunk of CGI from his upcoming take on Star Wars films under Disney. Thanksgiving turkey trimming could forever change. Imagine the damage a “Star Wars Kid” of the “real” lightsaber age could inflict upon his surroundings! Fleets of George Lucas followers roaming the streets, cutting coffee tables and Comic Con banners into ribbons! Maybe the good folks at Harvard and MIT stay away from using the “L-” word in harnessing this stuff, before the phrase “revenge of the nerds” takes on a whole new, graphic meaning.
Check out the article (with a kind of misleading title) at the Guardian.