We might just live out our fantasies of wielding a lightsaber in the not-so-distant future if science plays their cards right. Mikhail Lukin and Vladan Vuletic, physics professors at Harvard and MIT, respectively, clumped together particles to form a unique molecule by accident. They say that this new form of matter has the properties and behaviour of a lightsaber.
The two scientists shot photons through a cloud of rubidium atoms. When they blasted more than one photon at once, the particles clung to each other, resulting in a new form of matter. ‘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’.
But don’t get too excited just yet. The scientists aren’t planning no using this new form of matter to create awesome sci-fi weapons. Instead, they intend to use the technology as a means to build more efficient quantum computers. Enter boos and groans from every Star Wars geek in the galaxy.