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It's possible to make a lightsaber, a physicist explains

Disney/Lucasfilm

Exciting news for all you “Star Wars” fans out there — it’s possible to construct a lightsaber, according to a physics professor from UC Berkeley.

Professor Richard Muller, who is also associated with the Institute for Nuclear and Particle Astrophysics, said on Quora that he doesn’t “think it would be very hard” to make one.

Muller backs his claim by pointing out that small accelerators that take electrons to almost the speed of light (99.999% of the speed of light, to be exact) already exist.

In fact, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory where Muller works actually has such an accelerator called the BELLA.

These tiny accelerators could be made to fit into the handle of a lightsaber, Muller said.

“I’m not saying Bella would do the job, but it leads the way, and shows we are close,” he said.

BELLA uses lasers to accelerate the electrons. A laser could also be used to accelerate heavy ions to form the weapon part of the lightsaber, Muller said.

“Heavy ions have a very limited and discrete range, and they would constitute the blade of the saber,” he said. “That’s what I always assumed the light saber was, ever since I saw the original movie.”

What would actually be hard isn’t making the lightsaber, but using it, Muller said.

“Without The Force, a lightsaber would be no more useful as a weapon than a neon sign (which would make the same sound),” he said.

20th Century Fox

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson actually got into what he referred to as a “geek fight” with English physicist Brian Cox about whether or not a lightsaber fight was actually possible.

Tyson initially claimed that if lightsabers were actually made of light, they would just pass through one another.

But Cox countered that at a high enough energy, you have gamma rays, which can interact to create a force.

With that in mind, high-energy gamma ray beams would allow you to have your own “Star Wars” lightsaber fight.

So to all who still don’t believe a real-life lightsaber match is doable, I find your lack of faith disturbing.

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