The lightsaber is probably the world's most sought after fictional weapon. Who would not be mesmerized by its bright lights and amazing cutting performance?
Canadian engineer and YouTuber James Hobson, also known as 'the Hacksmith,' created the world's first-ever plasma-based retractable lightsaber. Hobson used propane gas to power the lightsaber which burns at 4,000 degrees Celsius capable of cutting through sheet steel.
Hobson's Youtube channel, 'the Hacksmith,' has over ten million subscribers which show videos that turn popular science fiction items into reality.
His latest project is obviously inspired by the hit Star Wars films that featured lightsabers throughout its franchise.
Protosaber: The Archaic Model of the Retractable Lightsaber
In Hacksmith's video in December last year, he showed how he made the protosaber which is an archaic form of the lightsaber.
It is noticeable that the protosaber was connected to an external power pack because of the lack of power pack technology, resulting in the limited operational timeframe and mobility for its users.
The Hacksmith and his friends ultimately found a way to make an IRL proto-saber that produces enough energy to power half the average North American home using a block of batteries that slung over the user's back.
Although there may have been challenges while making the protosaber, they were able to make it successfully. Hacksmith even demonstrated on his video the destructive capabilities of the protosaber by using it to burn through various objects.
But since this is just the archaic form of the lightsaber, he and his friends decided to make the iconic retractable lightsaber seen in the Star Wars films.
World's First-Ever Retractable Lightsaber
Building a lightsaber without the backpack is still impossible today given the lack of the right batteries to store the energy needed to power the lightsabers which require D-sized batteries that can churn out more power than a nuclear power plant, said the Hacksmith.
"The issue is producing a strong enough electromagnetic field to contain a blade, well the lightsaber would have to be quite literally built inside a box coated in electromagnets, which turns it into a kind of useless science project," Hobson said.
According to a report from MailOnline, the Hacksmith and his friends found an alternative by using propane gas and stored in a custom-built backpack that travels to the device (lightsaber) along a tube.
The propane gas is mixed with oxygen and turn it into a superheated beam of light in a laminar flow known to liquids that allows it to flow smoothly.
"We need a large array of laminar flow nozzles to create a highly concentrated flow of gas to create a plasma beam,' Hobson says in the video," the Hacksmith said.
Meanwhile, they built the steampunk aesthetic and casing and bought a suitable nozzle that costs $4,000 to complete the laser's look.
They were able to produce a plasma jet from the LPG which has the same diameter and length of the lightsaber in the film. Unlike the protosaber which used a metal rod as a core, this new one is completely retractable and can cut through metal sheets.
Lastly, its flame can also change into different colors from its original white color using other chemicals.
Read More: Technological Breakthrough Could Make Holograms Touchable
Check out more news and information on Tech & Innovation at Science Times.