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## How Hot Would a Light Saber Really Be?410

Datagod asks: "Has anyone ever calculated the temperature you would need to be able to slice through steel like it was thin air? How hot would a light saber really need to be? Also, I am assuming that at least some of the metal would be vaporized and the expanding gas would fling bits of molten metal at the saber wielder. Wouldn't your average Jedi be horribly scarred from all this."
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## How Hot Would a Light Saber Really Be?

• #### 2nd post (Score:5, Funny)

<bkienzle@gm a i l.com> on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:46AM (#15040276)
april fools! it's first.

Very hot.
• #### Re:Very hot. (Score:2, Interesting)

Somewhat hot.
• #### Re:Very hot. (Score:5, Informative)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:54AM (#15040317)
Very, very cold.

As the anti-protons move at uniform speed and the temperature is defined by the relative speed of particles wrt the flow.
• #### One hot muthertrucker (Score:2)

Appearently, it would be just hot enough to cut through the support structure of the World Trade Center towers [wikipedia.org].
• #### I don't think it's the heat that does the cutting (Score:3, Insightful)

I always pictured the light saber to be something like tamed lightning. As it cuts metal, it doesn't melt it from heat but from the actual cutting action of really fast elecrons (or whatever) colliding with and knocking loose whatever the light saber touches. Except it couldn't be electrons because they'd be grounded out by the metal they're cutting, so it's some other sort of particle.
• #### Re:Very hot. (Score:3, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward
About as hot as me on a Saturday night when I've got my disco suit on and I'm all ready for a hot time with the chicks on the dance floor with the Bee Gees in the background as I show her my John Travolta moves and take her back to make out on my watebed with soft light from the lava lamp afterwards.
• #### Re:Very hot. (Score:3, Interesting)

A friend of mine is plagued by the following question:

What happens when light sabers try to cut adamantium?

I'll spare the details / speculation and leave it open ended...

...This of course makes me wonder what a fight between Wolverine and a Jedi would be like.
• #### Re:Very hot. (Score:3, Interesting)

I don't know about adamatium, but I do know in the SW Universe there exist metals that can withstand a Jedi's lightsaber. Cortosis, I believe it's called. Most metallic weapons in Knights of the Old Republic used them so you couldn't just mow down enemies, and Jedi Knight II had villains who made armor out of it. I don't know how, exactly, it resists a lightsaber, but it seems pretty good at it.
• #### here's hoping (Score:2)

Hey maybe even I can get an article posted today! My article submissions obviously aren't prime-time material but from what I'm seeing on this special day .... off to do some submissions.
• #### Duh (Score:4, Insightful)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:49AM (#15040287) Homepage Journal
A real Jedi would jusst use the force to repel any bits away from him!
• #### Re:Duh (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @01:10AM (#15040385)
Mace Wendu: I don't want no muthafrakking metal bita coming at my muthafrakking eyes! I will not be some blind-ass
Stevie Wonder jedi. ...and this the JEDI adopted OSHA standards.

It is a time of great eye protection in the republic.

Eyeprotection worn by leading scientists without the force powers to deflect metal bits from their eyes.

They found the lightsaber:
Was developed from an ancient bread-slicer / toaster.
Contains 1.21 gigawats of power between recharge of it's flux capacitors.
Ranges from 350F to 50000F (battery life may suffer from extended operation, and overheating may occur at high temperatures.
Still makes a tasty grilled cheese sandwich in a pinch.
It was a dark time in the Republic.
Mainly because light sabers are really, really bright at high temperatures.
So bright as to be blinding.
Hence the recall. ........
*sigh* and so the 100th episode of the Star Wars series aired... in gravity distorting 3-D.
1138 left to go.
• #### Wickedlasers (Score:4, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:49AM (#15040292) Homepage Journal
Buy one and point it at a thermometer.

http://wickedlasers.com/ [wickedlasers.com]

O.K. so these aren't really lightsabers.
• #### Re:Wickedlasers (Score:5, Informative)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:58AM (#15040335)
omg for a second there i thought you posted a url to http://wickedweasel.com [wickedweasel.com].

*phew* that was close!
• #### Re:Wickedlasers (Score:2)

Oh, god - what kind of an idiot are you?

How could you unleash the terror that is these lasers into the hands of the Slashdot community??? There's a laser on that site that is visible 120 miles away, without assistance... Dangerous in the hands of the average reader!

And I'm sure there's some wacko on here with the \$2000 of disposable income that'll run out an buy to aim at planes... (as is *EXPLICTLY* prohibited on the website - and in US law.)

• #### Nanotechnology (Score:5, Interesting)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:51AM (#15040298) Journal
A nanotech style light saber would be the best way to go. Nanites could burn through their target and work on a whitelist principle: a friend's DNA would be ignored.

Quite literally you could ram your nanotech light saber through a hostage taker and the nanites would decline to harm the whitelisted hostage.

I can't believe no one else thought of this. PATENT!!!!!! OMFG I am teh pwnz0r take that George Lucas!!!!!!
• #### Re:Nanotechnology (Score:2)

Maybe a dart with nanos suspended in a neutral fluid would work better. that way you can do it from a distance.
• #### Re:Nanotechnology (Score:2)

actually they did. that dragon tooth sword from deus ex was nanotech
• #### Re:Nanotechnology (Score:3, Funny)

Be careful! The nanites might only attack foes, but even inert they would still be enough to (for example) knock a friend off of a sail barge.

My personal theory about light sabers is that they're really just extendable swords, with lights added to let people know where the bad parts are. You know, like how smell gets added to gasoline, or the title "prequal" gets added to some of Lucas's movies.
• #### Light sabers are not hot (Score:5, Insightful)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:51AM (#15040302)
Light sabers work at the subatomic level, disintegrating matter. However, heat is generated within resistant materials, giving the impression that the sabers themselves are actually hot. Don't the slashdot guys know this?
• #### Re:Light sabers are not hot (Score:5, Funny)

<djneoform@gmail.com> on Saturday April 01, 2006 @01:09AM (#15040383) Homepage
You know, it's just a sci-fi movie right? These things don't exists, so why are you explaining how they actually work?
• #### Re:Light sabers are not hot (Score:2)

Seriously, though, if you could give Jordy his sight back or give Data a soul, which would you do? Hooray for Friday night on Slashdot!!!!
• #### Consider oxy cutters and plasma cutters instead (Score:5, Interesting)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @03:05AM (#15040741)
These things don't exists
True, and the headline shows an ignorance of basic chemistry. Any oxy-acetylene cutter doesn't have to be hot enough to melt steel - the steel oxidises and burns away - so some sort of device that ionises air would be hitting steel with a lot of hot oxygen and burning it away. An oxy torch that cuts through steel like butter has trouble getting through aluminium alloy despite it having a melting point around 1000k less.

Plasma cutters are something else again, real and possibly far more like a light saber would be if such a thing was real. Heating up a gas and making it behave a lot like a liquid to burn things away leaving nothing but a clean cut and hot dust is the way the things work - all you need is high voltage electricity, appropriate electodes and a good supply of pressurised gas.

• #### Re:Light sabers are not hot (Score:2, Insightful)

agreed. one of the tests to see if you built a lightsaber properly is to hold the blade near your hand and see if it emits heat. if it does not, you've built it properly. (i believe that was in one of the jedi academy books)
• #### Hot enough to bring down WTC7 (Score:2)

It wasn't structural weakness [dodtechmatch.com] that brought it down, it was a Sith Lord.

In your heart, you know it's true.

• #### As hot as... (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:52AM (#15040306) Homepage
not as hot as the pink on the site
• #### Use the Force... (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:52AM (#15040307)
"Wouldn't your average Jedi be horribly scarred from all this."

Not necessarily, Padawan. If a Jedi cuts through a door/bulkhead/vehicle with a light saber s/he could avoid getting splashed with melted metal by applying a subtle Force push along with the slicing motion of the saber. To Saber 101 class you should return, youngling. ;)

• #### The real question is really... (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:52AM (#15040308)
More importantly, could a Jedi make a light sabre so hot that he himself could not wield it?
• #### Re:The real question is really... (Score:2)

Sure. No one said Jedis were omnipotent.
• #### Re:The real question is really... (Score:5, Insightful)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @02:15AM (#15040588) Homepage
Sure. No one said Jedis were omnipotent

I'm going off topic, but I think today's as good a day as any to do so... is it possible that at some point God renounced his omnipotence? As an omnipotent being, he would certainly have the power to do so... but of course he might not be able to undo it afterward, being no longer omnipotent. Perhaps he painted himself into a corner that way.

It would certainly explain the steep decline in the quality of miracles these days [bbc.co.uk]...

• #### That's silly (Score:3, Funny)

Everybody>/b> knows that the real reason for lack of miracles is the decline of pirates... I mean, SHEESH.
• #### Re:The real question is really... (Score:4, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @05:31AM (#15041033)
I'm going off topic, but I think today's as good a day as any to do so... is it possible that at some point God renounced his omnipotence?

Yeah. Nowaday, God logs in as a user instead of as root. It's so much more secure.

• #### Re:The real question is really... (Score:5, Interesting)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @07:57AM (#15041300)
Scott Adams wrote a book, God's Debris [andrewsmcmeel.com], that explores your question of what happens if God gives up his omnipotence. I'll let you read the free ebook yourself, but the basic idea is that God, as a perfect being, gets bored of his own existance and tries to spice things up by committing suicide. In doing so, God created the universe.

Wikipedia notes the parallels of this to Hinduism. When I read God's Debris, I was reminded of GWF Hegel's Philosophy of Religion, where God also empties himself of divinity in order to start time and create the universe because he realized that his pure existence is meaningless. Time is the progress of God, the spirit of whom is now extended in all matter, coming to 'realize' himself as God. So, in a sense, God is evolving.

These theological moves (God is extended in the world and God is realized in the future) allow for dodging some thorny questions. For example, Can God create a rock that he can't lift? The answer is, for *now*, yes. But he might be stronger tomorrow.
• #### Re:The real question is really... (Score:2)

More importantly, could a Jedi make a light sabre so hot that he himself could not wield it?

Kind of. Although, once that point is reached, they're technically no longer called lightsabres. I think you must be referring to a dildo ;)
• #### My calculations say ... (Score:4, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:53AM (#15040310)
The light saber would need to be 6241 F to cut through metal. At that temperature, the metal would be separated into sub-atomic particles called 'fooltrons'. As I'm sure you are aware, fooltrons are far to small to cause damage to the human body.
• #### Re:My calculations say ... (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:57AM (#15040333)
Incorrect. Nothing is fooltron proof.
• #### Re:My calculations say ... (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @02:12AM (#15040576) Journal
FoolTron --The adventures of Bush after getting transported into his computer.
• #### Mod me please? (Score:5, Interesting)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:53AM (#15040311)
OK, since today the weirdest stuff happens out here, can I get this comment modded up? Looks like there just has to ask. Thanks alot.
• #### Re:Mod me please? (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:59AM (#15040342)
If only I had mod points. I wasted them all just before the pink crap showed up.
• #### Re:Mod me please? (Score:5, Insightful)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @01:13AM (#15040392)
It's all good, today is not a good day to have mod points anyways, I guess.

Seeing how the grand-parent got modded, I conclude that I hardly understand any logic in the modders mind anyways. Instead of considering using quasars for encryption, they should rather consider using /. mods.

• #### Afraid (Score:5, Interesting)

<sig@NosPAM.sigspace.net> on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:53AM (#15040313) Journal
I don't know what the most frightening aspect of this topic is.
• The retarded jokes forthcoming about people's pulsing hot lightsabers
• The prospect of spending all day sifting through stuff like this looking for real news
I know very little of physics, Star Wars or other. So I shall link to the disturbing Star Wars-related musings [sigspace.net] of my friend instead.
• #### Re:Afraid (Score:2)

I think the most frightening part is that half of your list hasn't even appeared in the thread yet...
• #### Re:Afraid (Score:2)

Yep. This guy had like post #4 in the thread. It was a nice troll though
• #### How hot? enough to burn the user? (Score:5, Insightful)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:54AM (#15040315)
Looking at this comment I found [bautforum.com], the author makes a good arguement: If the light sabre were hot enough to easily melt stuff, wouldn't it radiate so much heat that it would burn the user?
• #### Re:How hot? enough to burn the user? (Score:2)

It probably doesn't have that much surface area...
• #### Re:How hot? enough to burn the user? (Score:3, Interesting)

I used to work for BHP (now Billiton) at the Slab and Plate product division. I worked in PC support and so didnt actually know much about the steel making. One day I had to visit the BOS (I stil dont know what it stands for), it was the area where they stored the slabs after they were poored. I got out of my car and was hit by a stifulling heat but I couldnt tell where it was comming from. I looked around and 40 meters away was a large slab, cooling in a neaby fenced yard. It was barely glowing red.

If a
• #### Exploding Bodies (Score:3, Informative)

Considering that the human body is mostly water, wouldn't it flash to steam and blow up when struck by a light saber?
• #### What I want to know is (Score:4, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:55AM (#15040318)
could you toast marshmallows with a light sabre. On the one hand, there's plenty of energy, on the other hand the energy doesn't seem to go very far from the blade. I'm sure if you just touch the blade to the marshmallow it'll just vaporize though. Perhaps a wise Jedi, skilled in the force, could do this. Or maybe force lightnight. I guess you could heat a rock with a sabre and then toast with that, but it's just not the same.

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:55AM (#15040319)
I remember getting scolded by some fanboys for suggesting that lightsabers should cast no shadows (apparently they must cast shadows since shadows were present in Episode 4...) because the cutting edge - whether plasma or whatever else - would need to be hairline-thin regardless of temperature in order to slice through things without causing unmanageable explosions of melted and vaporized target material.

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @01:46AM (#15040492) Homepage
I remember getting scolded by some fanboys for suggesting that lightsabers should cast no shadows (apparently they must cast shadows since shadows were present in Episode 4...) because the cutting edge - whether plasma or whatever else - would need to be hairline-thin regardless of temperature in order to slice through things without causing unmanageable explosions of melted and vaporized target material.

Well, assume for a moment that it works. To melt metal one needs a lot of energy - so it likely comes from a nuclear source.

1kg of steel has specific heat of 448 joules per degree Kelvin.

Energy from fusion of hydrogen atoms is at most 8 Mev, the energy stored in Hafnium atom is 3 Mev - let's assume that the agent used has weight of Hafnium but produces 1 Mev per atom.

Thus 1kg of energy agent stores 9e10 Joules - plenty enough to heat 20e3 tonnes of steel to 10000 degrees - cool !

So, as long as I am having fun, here is a "complete" light saber design - just so that no one tries to patent something that obvious:

• Handle - let's separate in two compartments - one contains energy agent and the other initiator that bombards that agent with nuclear particles.
• In response to bombardment energy agent produces new particles in much greater proportion - this is a sticky point as single pass stimulated emission amplification is likely not that efficient - but then we have power to spare ! In fact this might be a feature as the handle will last very long time - the amplification medium will deplete slowly and from one end.
• the particles are passed through moderator which limits their mean path in air to desired length.
• put peltier element around the energy agent and moderator and feed the energy into the initiator.
• initiator could be made as short pulse laser striking metal foil - these have been tested as tabletop devices already and should be capable to produce 3Mev gamma rays.
• move the initiator around as energy agent is used up.
The particle fountain would be very narrow - but it will heat up the air and that would produce the glow. Oh - and plasmas are opaque to light so there will be a shadow.

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:55AM (#15040322)
... are HERE [howstuffworks.com].
• #### It's not an issue of just temperature (Score:4, Informative)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @12:56AM (#15040328) Homepage
It's an issue of temperature AND power.

Consider this: how hot does something have to be to melt an ice sculpture? Well, a match would do it, except a match can't provide the power necessary to melt a significant amount of ice.

You need the temperature necessary to turn steel into a vapor (look that up on a periodic table of elements); you also need the power necessary to turn some mass (per second) of steel into vapor. Anyone with a background in chemistry should be able to look up the required information on a standard periodic table.

The equation will look like this:

(Steel's specific heat) * (volume of steel to vaporize per second) * (temperature difference) = power necessary.
• #### Re:It's not an issue of just temperature (Score:5, Insightful)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @01:01AM (#15040348)
Dunno about you, but I've never seen "steel" on my periodic table. Maybe I have the unpatched version...
• #### Temperature and Power (Score:2)

It's an issue of temperature AND power.

If it's just a heat transfer, don't forget that the rate of energy dissipation is dependent on temperature difference. All the power in the world won't do a thing unless it can be transfered.

• #### Start your calculators! (Score:2)

With some geeks having actually having calculated the force needed to tip an AT-ST walker (or the weight of a walker or something - I've seen the site years ago and tried googling but found nawt) using a suspended log, I guess someone would be glad to help you out.

More importantly, how hot would a lightsaber need to be to cut a pony into sausages? Pink hot?
• #### Probably about as hot as an Ewok is deadly. (Score:2, Interesting)

I always though it was funny that people did not buy into the success of the Ewoks in the last skirmish. They'll buy into death stars, light sabers, but then balk at the Ewoks.
• #### Re:Probably about as hot as an Ewok is deadly. (Score:3, Insightful)

Eh, suspension of disbelief only goes so far.

It's been awhile since I watched the movies. I do remember that it wasn't just the ewoks that bothered me, in terms of suspension of disbelief. Most of what I found hard to swallow about the series was either science/engineering stuff ("laser" weapons that shoot bolts, a planet sized spacecraft with an unprotected vent leading down into the reactor), or plot holes. However, those can be excused if you take a step back and look at star wars as fantasy, rather t
• #### Re:Probably about as hot as an Ewok is deadly. (Score:2)

um.. the vent WAS protected. It was ray-shielded. However, since it was a thermal exhaust vent, it can't be both ray-shielded AND particle shielded: you gotta let something through to bleed off the heat. They chose ray, aparantly prefering the efficiency of evaporative cooling or perhaps they simply considered the risk of energy weapons to be greater than the risk of some crack pilot who'd been shooting wamp rats his whole life.

and.. I thought the whole point of the ewoks was that they happened to be in
• #### Re:Probably about as hot as an Ewok is deadly. (Score:2)

Yeah, but you'd figure they'd at least put a grill on the business end to cover the thing. Or failing that, put a U shaped kink in the line akin to a sink trap. Hell, any configuration other than a linear hole going from surface to core would have been safer - and if a bunch of underfunded rebels can find that weakness just by looking at the blueprints, you'd figure that a big military with a budget would have found out about them during beta testing :-)

Design by comitee at it's finest. That or ole' Geor
• #### Re:Probably about as hot as an Ewok is deadly. (Score:2)

It wasn't a gaping hole all the way to the core. The hit caused a chain reaction resulting in reactor overload. Probably all the rebels did was collapse the hole, causing the heat to build up instead of being dissapated, resulting in the destruction of the death star when they fired the superlaser.

Of course, then you have to believe that the superlaser didn't have any kind of sensor on the port to disallow operation when the port is closed off, but that's not that hard of an oversight to imagine, especial
• #### Re:Probably about as hot as an Ewok is deadly. (Score:2, Interesting)

I could be wrong here, but I immediately see a statement being made that says "technology bad, nature good" that one would often find in some fantasy-based video games. (Many say that Final Fantasy 6 is a prime example of this.) I can't say for certain whether Lucas meant this, however...
• #### Re:Probably about as hot as an Ewok is deadly. (Score:3, Interesting)

I think most people would have been fine with ewoks if they'd at least been carrying stolen imperial guns or something. It still would have been silly, but suspending disbelief would have been simpler.

Funny, I seem to recall hearing that in an early draft, the Ewoks were supposed to be a space-faring, semi-technologically advanced race. I think it might have even been that they were supposed to be Wookies. Then when the toy sales blew up after the first movie, Lucas re-wrote them into an excuse to sel
• #### but... (Score:2, Funny)

What does this have to do with ponies? :( I want my ponies! DX
• #### The Holy Grail of lightsabers (Score:2, Insightful)

They are of course running at room temperature. You think it's heat that cuts through this mental abstraction you call 'matter'?
• #### Lightsabers work because... (Score:3, Informative)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @01:03AM (#15040355)

Light sabers (and all other Star Wars pseudo-science) work because Lucas has no idea how physics works in reality, and he doesn't understand that there is a point where suspension of disbelief can no longer support the premise,especially in an adult audience.

• #### I was actually asking a serious question... (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @01:03AM (#15040357)
I submitted this as a serious question 24 hours ago (or so). Just my luck, the only time my question gets accepted its april fools, and the whole site is pink! LOL
• #### Re:I was actually asking a serious question... (Score:2)

But the real questions:

Is the light sabre hotter than the pink of this site?

Could you get it hot enough to melt the OMG Ponies!!
And last but not least...

Does Sailor Moon wield light sabres? if so... *Swoon*!!

(As a total aside, my room mate stuck a mottled My Little pony on my computer and told me it was my pony because it was all mottled n stuff. So I have my very own Zombie pony.I pointed out the 'OMG ponies!' and she just stared blankly at the screen for a moment, then wandered off to go to
• #### Pretty Damn Hot. (Score:3, Interesting)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @01:04AM (#15040360) Homepage Journal
A Lightsaber cuts pretty fast through materials like that. As for the metal bits we'll asume it propels them away from the user, somehow. As for the heat...a portable (55 amp) plasma cutter can cut 1/4" material at roughly 70 inches per minute. The plasma coming out is roughly 24,000 degrees, and is a stream traveling at 20,000 fpm. An industrial cutter can do roughly 1000 inches per minute. I wouldn't imagine its flame is any hotter than 30K degrees. a lightsaber, it seems, cuts WAY faster than that. I wouldn' t know how to estimate its temperature using the given info, but maybe someone else can.
• #### so it depends (Score:2, Insightful)

on how thick the light sabre active region is. If it's only a few molecules thick, the amount of material vaporized will be relatively low, given that most stuff it's slicing doesn't have very high thermal conductivity (limits heat spread away from the blade). It's too late at night to push the specific heat & volume numbers, but as a guess, if the active region could dump, say, 100KW minimum into a 10nm x 2" x 60" volume, there would be plenty of energy to immediately vaporize any material in that sm
• #### Not hot at all, until.... (Score:2)

Part of the canon regarding lightsabers is that they don't use any energy unless they're in contact with something else, something about perfect energy conservation. Thus, lightsabers don't emit heat unless you're using them for something.
• #### Re:Not hot at all, until.... (Score:2)

how can they not use energy? they glow brightly in a color appropriate to some aspect of the character weilding them.
• #### It's a plasma, contained by magnetic fields. (Score:3, Insightful)

by jd (1658) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <kapimi>> on Saturday April 01, 2006 @01:08AM (#15040378) Homepage Journal
However, it's not a simple plasma. It would have to be a high energy density plasma, in order to look solid and act solid.

The example I found of a Tocamac plasma [pppl.gov] is only red, but is 20-30 million degrees C. However, the lightsabers in the original (and therefore One True) Star Wars were white. This means they must be considerably hotter. The page I found on near-solid high energy density plasmas [utoronto.ca] also talks about tens of millions of degrees - my gut feeling would be that to produce totally solid white plasma would require 40-50 million degrees C.

Now, plasmas at that kind of temperature could quite reasonably be expected to slice through almost anything - steel included. Furthermore, anything that was vaporised would be repelled by the magnetic field and thus travel AWAY from the wielder. This does mean that if you are fighting someone with a lightsaber, you will get sprayed with high-energy plasma every time they hit something.

There is one minor problem, though. Energy. If you want to maintain something at 50 million degrees, AND a containment field, a couple of duracel batteries won't cut it. Even lithium batteries will go flat very quickly. My guess is that the handle of the lightsaber, therefore, contains a wormhole linked to a gigantic anti-matter reactor.

All you REALLY need to do, then, is find out where your opponent's reactor is hidden and turn it off. Their lightsaber will then be useless.

• #### Re:It's a plasma, contained by magnetic fields. (Score:3, Informative)

A plasma doesn't behave like a black body, so the blade would not become "whiter" as the plasma got hotter. The plasma of choice would have a couple of visible spectral lines (depending on the gas you ionize), and making the plasma "hotter" would just make those specific colors brighter. You can doubly ionize and even triply ionize the gas, but these transitions typically fall out of the visible range.

Also, the magnetic field by itself would just constrain the particles to the axis of the saber. There's
• #### As a source familier with the source... (Score:2)

'Wouldn't your average Jedi be horribly scarred by all of this"

Why Yes!! as a spokesperson for Jedi Inc.. (LLC) I can safely state that all Jedi completing our online (tm) courses since 5/12/97 have an exemplary track record. Most scars from lightsabers now result in the loss of limbs and/or other LEBOoETO (Life Enabling Biological Organs of ExtraTerrestrial Origin). We have strived hard to maintain safe Jedi Training Environment, and can now report that most Jedi are not only scarred, but scared as well!

• #### When using one, don't forget safety! (Score:3, Informative)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @01:11AM (#15040388)
Remember boys and girls, a lightsaber can be a dangerous weapon, and improperly used, it can hurt! Here are a few simple tips for Lightsaber Safety...

http://www.atomfilms.com/af/content/your_lightsabe r [atomfilms.com]

SirWired
• #### delightful... (Score:3, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @01:11AM (#15040389)
I've always found that reading slashdot on april fools is a good reminder that there are better things to do than read slashdot on april fools.
• #### You've got it all wrong (Score:5, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @01:18AM (#15040409) Homepage Journal
It's not the heat...it's the humidity.
• #### I was of the opinion ... (Score:2)

... that the light saber worked by creating a localized field that suppressed the electromagnetic interaction [wikipedia.org], with the glow being a result of leakage of released photons as the protons and electrons combine with a ginormous release of energy.

It isn't so much the steel/wood/flesh/whatever being "vaporized" as whatever matter is within the localized field.

The resulting release of energy would blow the wielder of the light saber into nothingness, except for a second localized field that collects the energy an

• #### Sheilding (Score:2)

For what it's worth, the steel will only spark and smoke when it conbines with O2. I think we need to assume that the saber's containment field would protect the moten metal from oxidizing.

So, where are all these ponies I keep hearing about?
• #### It may come down to the physics (Score:2)

if the cutting is done by heat then you may also consider the effect a cutting torch is having on steel where the majority of the residue is actually falling out away from the user.

On the other hand - a lightsaber may involve a different kind of physics where the material is actually displaced by other force and the light is actually only a visual representation caused by the displacement field.

Whatever - you have to study the physics of the StarWars universe first to come out with a solution to the pro

• #### Re:It may come down to the physics (Score:3, Funny)

I don't think the light is part of the process at all. It's a red, green, or blue (or sometimes purple) herring. The light is probably added by whatever OSHA dealy they had a long time ago to show where the dangerous part is...

But the real question is: where did lucas get a telescope powerful enough to record all of this?
• #### Tagging (Score:2)

Someone forgot to tag this story "aprilfools" with the rest of them.
• #### LOL (Score:2)

OMG SOOOOOOOO HOT!!!
• #### Ok, fine, I'll do it (Score:2)

The specific heat of steel [wwu.edu] is 452 joules per kilogram per degree C.

The melting temperature of steel [jlab.org] is 1370 degrees C (room temperature is 20 degrees), so the the lightsaber has to raise the temperature 1370-20=1350 degrees C).

Now (to pull some numbers out of my ass) let's say our hypothetical jedi swings a 1-meter-long-and-.02-meter-wide lightsaber through a bulkhead in a circular fashion, sweeping out a 120 degree arc. The volume of steel he has to melt is (120/360) * (pi*r^2) *width, where r = 1 meter an
• #### Remember kids (Score:3, Funny)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @02:01AM (#15040544)
Don't use your light saber to open beer bottles
Don't use your light saber to gut fish

If you do any of these things, you might be a jedi redneck.

Bubba-Boe-Bob-Bader: "Shoot, son come on over t' the dark side... it'll be a hoot"
• #### How They Work... (Score:2, Funny)

Light sabers are pretty advanced pieces of technology. Let me try to explain how they work in basic terms.

First off, you need to imagine a sort of 'shield' around the blade. It is this shield that actually forms the blade in to a specific shape and length. It uses micro-miniature deflector technology. It's all deflector technology these days. If you can picture a sort of transparent hollow tube you are on the right track. In fact, if a Jedi needs a non-lethal billy club he/she can simply switch off the fusi
• #### Slashdot killed my inner nerd (Score:3, Interesting)

on Saturday April 01, 2006 @03:46AM (#15040847)
Normally, my interest in applying practicle science to the star wars universe would be astronomical, but reading the question in pink GUI made me realize what a nerd loser I was. Thanks a lot slashdot. :-(

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