Ever since the concept of the lightsaber was introduced to the world through Star Wars, many have been trying to recreate it. While some attempts have been successful, the success came mostly through the functionality of the design, where it appeared to have the cutting power of a lightsaber.
However, these designs “failed” in the sense that they were bulky as the blade itself could not be retracted, unlike the lightsabers we see in the movies. However, engineer and YouTuber James Hobson might have finally done what many have been trying to do, in which he has managed to create a lightsaber that features a retractable blade.
According to Hobson, this is built based on the theory that claims that plasma can be held in place using a magnetic field. He then built on that theory and modified it to get it to where he wanted, where through the efforts of his team, they built this lightsaber on the principle of “laminar flow”. This involved the use of liquified petroleum gas and oxygen, which is then sent through “laminar nozzles”, to help generate a retractable beam.
They further improved on this by adding chemicals to the mix that altered the color of the beam, like using sodium chloride which turned the beam yellow, while boric acid made it green, and so on. The end result is pretty fantastic, although short of perfect because according to Hobson, in order to output the energy needed of a “real” lightsaber, it would require the power of a nuclear plant.