I’m so tired of laser physicists saying a lightsaber is impossible because you can’t make a laser beam in mid air. This shows very shallow thinking on the concept, of course a laser sword might not be their main interest, but then why comment on the topic at all?  A few scientists do go further into the subject but they are usually plasma researchers and the like. But I think there may be an actual solution using lasers, but I’m sure my ideas and concepts using existing or coming technology could be fallible as well. If you read a bit more below and check out some of the link soup you might see what I’m getting at. (all links open in a new page so you don’t loose this page)

While not a big Star Wars fan, and not one to run around swinging a broomstick on video, it is something that would be pretty neat to see in person.  I feel that they’re so absorbed in their own world that they fail to see the reality and possibility of future developments. They’re locked in the here and now and just can’t see beyond that (to high end plasma swords)  for some reason.  It’s weird to me to see a scientist resisting change *(just kidding)*

Lightsaber Physics 101 (aka “A bunch of random ideas I collected”):

Adaptive optics, adjustable optics. Using a magnetic fields to adjust optics or other high speed optical systems, you could adjust the focal length of a high power laser over a specified distance.

Using a very high speed scanner you could adjust the focal point of the laser beam to points, along the light sabre predefined length to generate air plasma bursts due to focused energy. (hey, it’s the future, we fit the power source in a ‘handle’ so I’m sure something super high speed is available now). If you do this fast enough with enough power you can project a holographic beam of any length you desire, the power density limited by the amount of power you can input into this point.

Power sources: Energy density for portable storage is becoming greater every day through the development of new technologies into energy storage technology. This is a HUGE technology growth sector and the companies who are developing the new technologies have the possibility of becoming very large in the very near future.  Nano technologies are currently (pun intended) increasing the power density of common power cells, and increasing their capacities and charging rates exponentially. If you look at some of the new technologies that use carbon nano-tubes in electrode materials, it’s really quite amazing.

Project Description: Increase power density in energy storage packs.  Design a battery powered high energy laser module which is capable of being focused to the point that it generates a plasma in mid air.  Design optics which can adjust their focal point from 0.1 to 1.5 meters on the directional axis at least ?? repeats per second.

References: http://www.pinktentacle.com/2006/02/aist-develops-3d-image-projector/

What amazes me is that people have been generating ‘midairplasmas for quite some time with their high power lasers and this is the first time anyone’s done this?

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