Peter Minchella is a PhD candidate at Cornell and is an avid reader of The Manual. Only one of these things are true. In any event, he sent this email regarding Star Wars. The following is just a THEORETICAL discussion about incredibly important matters by two very intelligent men. In this case: Making an actual lightsaber.
“..Also, on the topic of Star Wars… I was talking to my friend Billy – who happens to have a PhD in physics.
He told me the story of his PhD – which spanned seven years and took him from a laser lab to a magnetic imaging lab. He mentioned that one of the reasons he was initially interested in lasers was the idea of a light saber, but that after a few years he decided that (due to the physical properties of lasers) he was never going to be able to make a light saber using lasers. He switched into a magnetic imaging lab – and he thinks that magnetic fields have a lot more promise. He explained how it would be possible to control the length of of a super-powerful magnetic field to make it “saber-like” – a key component of the light saber. Apparently a powerful magnetic filed would be able to destroy everything in its path (essentially by messing with the polarity of whatever it is that needs saber-ing) and it might be able to ionize nearby air molecules – thus producing light.”
Think about the implications. Real lightsabres! They will undoubtably become the hottest gift of the holiday season. Email exchange with (pre)Dr. Minchella after the jump.