Scientists have discovered new properties of protons which, according to them, behave in a way which is very close to the light sabres used in science fiction movies like "Star Wars."
The discovery, reported by Phys.org, was made by a group, led by professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin from Harvard and Professor of Physics Vladan Vuletic from MIT. The group was working at the Harvard-MIT Center for Ultracold Atoms.
It has been a traditionally accepted principle that light does not have mass, hence a light sabre to work the way they do in "Star Wars," was difficult to achieve. But, the new discovery on Photons changes this perception about light.
The group has been able to make Photons bind together, to form molecules. Molecules are in a state of matter and carry mass. It has been theorised that Photons can be made to act this way, but until now it had not been demonstrated.
What this means is, if a light sabre, like the one in "Star Wars," was to be built using the traditional knowledge, the Jedi and the Sith would not be able to clash in a light sabre duel, as the two lasers would simply pass through each other.
The technological know-how has still not progressed enough to allow the construction of light sabres even now, but, the new discovery can be seen as a first step, which proves that it is possible, perhaps in the future.
"It's not an in-apt analogy to compare this to light sabers," professor Lukin said. "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." The movie "Star Wars" was not explicitly named.
The scientists are not sure exactly in which areas the discovery will be used. For their part, they say it was done for "fun" and for "pushing the frontiers of science." The discovery has been published in the Sept 25 paper of "Nature."
The scientists do point out that the discovery can be used to build quantum computers. Quantum computers are much faster than the current silicon based computers, they can be used to solve complex mathematical problems.
"Star Wars" fans may need to wait a little longer to get their hands on a real light sabre. In the mean time readers can click here to read the latest rumours about the upcoming "Star Wars" episode 7 movie.
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