Engineer and YouTuber James Hobson has achieved what every avid Star Wars fan has dreamed about – by creating a functioning lightsaber
Hobson also goes by the name ‘The Hacksmith’ and has over 10 million followers on YouTube.
By burning propane gas at approximately 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the Canadian has been able to manufacture a retractable plasma beam which is capable of cutting through steel. Much like the lightsaber Star Wars fans have for so long coveted.
The challenge Hobson faced was being able to make a super powerful electromagnetic field.
“The issue is producing a strong enough electromagnetic field to contain a blade. The lightsaber would have to be quite literally be built inside a box coated in electromagnets, which turns it into a kind of useless science project,” he explained in his video which has been watched more than 16 million times.
Working with a team of three, ‘The Hacksmith’ used liquid petroleum gas, the same kind found in barbecues. The liquid was then blended with oxygen and made into a beam of plasma.
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This was done by the laminar flow method – a physical phenomenon which enables liquids to move smoothly. The gas emits via a tube from a backpack and moves into a nozzle shaped like a Jedi weapon.
The casing was crafted by Hobson’s team although they had to fork out $4,000 to get the right nozzle.
And while previous design attempts needed a metal rod as a core, this version is fully retractable while still able to slice through materials.
Image credit: the Hacksmith