m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

The Science of Star Wars

Via a mailing list: BoingBoing reposts a brief excerpt from The Science of Star Wars by Jeanne Cavelos, my teacher from Odyssey.

Thus it seems the lasers we have today would be capable of doing many of the things we see in Star Wars. We could injure or kill people; we could burn structures or melt holes in walls; we could destroy targeted areas of spaceships, assuming we could keep a beam on them for long enough. The main difference between Star Wars lasers and ours is the size. While we can create lasers that emit extremely powerful energies, we need to pump great energies into them to make them work.

There’s more at Scientific American.