Yes, it’s really happening.
If you thought the lines were bad at your local Apple Store every time they roll out a new iPhone, just wait until they start selling lightsabers. Scientists recently declared that they have developed technology that could one day lead to the construction of the iconic weapon from the Stars Wars films.
In October, physicists at MIT and Harvard University revealed in Nature that they’ve found a way to bind photons together in order to create a new molecule possibly capable of forming an illuminated blade.
“What we have done is create a special type of medium in which photons interact with each other so strongly that they act as though they have mass, and bind together to form molecules,“ said Mikhail Lukin, a physics professor from Harvard.“The physics of what’s happening in these molecules is similar to what we see in the movies,” he added.
During his team’s experiment, they managed to create this new form of matter by blasting a batch of photons into a cloud of rubidium atoms. The scientists discovered that the particles started sticking to one another while behaving in a manner similar to the neon blade found in a lightsaber.
But the most amazing part of all of this isn’t just the creation of a few form of matter, or that the team isn’t interested in using their discovery to cash in on the latest Star Wars movie, which is due in theaters next year. Lukin’s crew is far more interested in building a quantum supercomputer that can be powered by these molecules. According to the professor, photons are great at carrying quantum information. That isn’t to say that any wannabe Darth Mauls won’t break into his lab to steal this tech in order to build their very own double-bladed lightsaber.