Star Wars Blasters Shoot Plasma, Not Lasers - Science Fact?
True Star Wars fans know this simple fact, blasters shoot plasma, not laser light. Right? Not so fast. There is still a school of thought asserting that laser light is expelled from the nozzle of these firearms, although seemingly a minority viewpoint. Check out 2 science-focused Wired articles by physicist Rhett Allain PhD, here and here, for a deeper analysis of blaster fire, of the charged gas variety. In fact, a fair amount has been written about blasters and the energized gas particles that more accurately emanate from these futuristic weapons. A simple Google search will yield information aplenty. Wikipedia outlines how Tibanna gas (not real) is expressed into a chamber where the gas particles are excited by a detachable power pack magazine, followed by compression and expulsion through the barrel. From a technology standpoint, how close are we to actual weapons that shoot particles, whether light or gas, inspired by and resembling the Star Wars variety? In the top-secret world of military research, DAPRA, and the like... who knows? Comic-con often indulges in such scientific speculation, assembling a panel called Science of Star Wars to discuss. Seemingly, much of the dialogue in 2017 disappointingly centered around lasers, not plasma. Check out a write-up of the panel here. Advances in laser technology have made it into the popular literature and hint at our proximity to Star Wars-like technologies, as reviewed here in Popular Mechanics if you're interested.
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