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Subject: " Lightsabers" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Redneck
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Oct-10-01, 01:35 AM (EST)
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" Lightsabers"
 
   LAST EDITED ON Oct-10-01 AT 01:41 PM (EDT)

(a brief entry)

A lightsaber is a handmade technological weapon which generates a tightly focused plasma field in a magnetic bottle. The blade can generate heat within the magnetic field in excess of 5,000 degrees Centigrade, but the magnetic bottle protects the wielder from the heat. The weapon can cut through virtually any known substance, given enough time, although the cuts are nly clean in the sense that they are usually cauterized.

It's very important to note that all lightsabers are -handmade- according to methods which, despite detailed analysis of artifacts from the Golden Age of the Jedi Order, we still don't understand, except that it involves the alignment and energization of crystals. The mass-produced beamswords so popular among thugs and pirates during the Interregeneum are vastly inferior to true lightsabers, with a higher energy consumption rate, a lower plasma temperature (and thus a reduced cutting capacity), and most importantly a much lower level of durability.

It is, in fact, -illegal- to call a mass-produced beam weapon a lightsaber, thanks to the Galactica Court case Assoc. of Galactic Antiquities Dealers v. TaggeCorp, in which the antique experts of the galaxy demonstrated that the beamswords not only worked on a different principle from the true lightsaber, but was inferior to it in every demonstrable capacity, and thus Baron Tagge's attempted trademarking of the term 'lightsaber' for his company's product constituted false advertising.

Tagge chose not to have the Galactica Assembly overturn this court case, probably because by this time forty TaggeCorp sales agents had been killed by dissatisfied customers expressing their own opinion on the matter.

Legend has it (see JEDI ORDER) that true lightsabers could only be crafted by Jedi Knights or Masters. If this is true, then either the lightsabers are durable beyond belief, the Jedi kept multiple blades, or the things are still being made, because lightsabers are much more common than most artifacts from the Celadon/Atlantis and Yoma/Santovasku imperial era. A non-working but repairable lightsaber, when you can find one, will usually run SalCr5,000, whereas a working model will run twice that much. Lightsabers whose ownership can be traced to a specific Golden-Era Jedi (or even Sith) can bring ten times that much from collectors or historians. One of the greatest cons of recent history, the sale of a lightsaber purported to be that of the legendary genocide Darth Vader, cost the mark over a million credits before the fraud was revealed.

Lightsabers are generally covered by the same weapons laws as blasters or firearms, although there are exceptions. For more information on such laws (and on evading them), please consult the section on BEAM SWORDS.


--- Redneck (yay, more useless trivia of questionable accuracy)

Red wizard needs money badly...
www.wlpcomics.com
White Lightning Productions - don't tell the Pope


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Lightsabers Gryphonadmin Oct-10-01 1
     RE: Lightsabers Polychrome Oct-10-01 6
         RE: Lightsabers Redneck Oct-10-01 9
  RE: Lightsabers Laudre Oct-10-01 2
     RE: Lightsabers Gryphonadmin Oct-10-01 3
         RE: Lightsabers Laudre Oct-10-01 7
             RE: Lightsabers phongn Oct-11-01 12
                 RE: Lightsabers Laudre Oct-11-01 13
                     RE: Lightsabers phongn Oct-13-01 21
             RE: Lightsabers Gryphonadmin Oct-11-01 14
                 RE: Lightsabers Laudre Oct-11-01 15
                     RE: Lightsabers Gryphonadmin Oct-12-01 17
                         RE: Lightsabers ejheckathorn Oct-12-01 18
                             RE: Lightsabers goldenfire Oct-12-01 19
                                 RE: Lightsabers Laudre Oct-12-01 20
                 RE: Lightsabers Redneck Oct-12-01 16
     RE: Lightsabers Redneck Oct-10-01 10
  RE: Lightsabers Matrix Dragon Oct-10-01 4
     RE: Lightsabers Gryphonadmin Oct-10-01 5
  RE: Lightsabers dbrandon Oct-10-01 8
     RE: Lightsabers Redneck Oct-10-01 11

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Gryphonadmin
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Oct-10-01, 01:41 AM (EST)
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1. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #0
 
   >A lightsaber is a handmade technological weapon which generates a
>tightly focused plasma bottle in a magnetic field.

I think you meant "plasma field in a magnetic bottle."

Aside from that, and the fact that I suspect the plasma temperature is much higher (we've seen the things pierce blast doors without appreciable difficulty), I have no objections to this as a UF/H2G2 entry. Anything I decide to contradict later can be attributed to the fact that the Guide is often wrong, after all. :)

--G.
-><-
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Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Polychrome
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Oct-10-01, 04:18 AM (EST)
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6. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #1
 
   >Aside from that, and the fact that I suspect the plasma temperature is
>much higher (we've seen the things pierce blast doors
>without appreciable difficulty), I have no objections to this as a

Indeed. 2000 C is not sufficient to vaporize iron, much less some of the tougher things out there.
I suggest upping it to 7500 C, which is hot enough to boil tungsten and let you cut through steel like it was butter.

Polychrome


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Redneck
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Oct-10-01, 01:45 PM (EST)
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9. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #6
 
   >>Aside from that, and the fact that I suspect the plasma temperature is
>>much higher (we've seen the things pierce blast doors
>>without appreciable difficulty), I have no objections to this as a
>
>Indeed. 2000 C is not sufficient to vaporize iron, much less some of
>the tougher things out there.
>I suggest upping it to 7500 C, which is hot enough to boil tungsten
>and let you cut through steel like it was butter.

Minor edits made, although the text does make it plain that the number is the absolute -minimum- temp.

Red wizard needs money badly...
www.wlpcomics.com
White Lightning Productions - don't tell the Pope


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Laudre
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Oct-10-01, 01:56 AM (EST)
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2. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #0
 
   >A lightsaber is a handmade technological weapon which generates a
>tightly focused plasma bottle in a magnetic field. The blade can
>generate heat within the magnetic field in excess of 2,000 degrees
>Centigrade, but the magnetic bottle protects the wielder from the
>heat. The weapon can cut through virtually any known substance, given
>enough time, although the cuts are nly clean in the sense that they
>are usually cauterized.

This is marvelously detailed, and has absolutely nothing in common with the defined lightsaber technology of the semi-canon Star Wars Extended Universe.

I'm too lazy to get one of my SW reference books to explain how the crystals focus and align the energy beam, but suffice it to say that the blade is not contained within any energy beam; I don't think it's specified in any EU or EU-based text or Lucasfilm-approved reference book just what kind of energy lightsabers actually use (despite what a ten-year-old boy might say, lightsabers are not based in any way on laser technology), but said energy is actually shot in a tight arc from the emitter and brought back upon itself, and the blade emits no heat and loses no energy to speak of, except when it is brought into contact with a solid substance. (This is why power cells last so long; there's no power loss except when the blades are actually cutting through something.) Depending on the number, sizes, and kinds of crystals, the length and intensity of the blade may be flexible; the Sith Lord Exar Kun could vary the length of his dual-bladed saber's beams, and run them from full-power to nothing more than a pretty, harmless light show.

Just another illustration of the distance between UF and source material, I guess.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
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Gryphonadmin
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Oct-10-01, 02:05 AM (EST)
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3. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #2
 
   >the blade emits no
>heat and loses no energy to speak of,

If that were the case, it would be invisible and not make that humming noise.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Laudre
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Oct-10-01, 10:44 AM (EST)
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7. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #3
 
   >>the blade emits no
>>heat and loses no energy to speak of,
>
>If that were the case, it would be invisible and not make that humming
>noise.

Hey, I don't come up with this stuff. I just flip through the tech references and RPG books. And all of them give exactly the same description of lightsaber technology.

Note that, as was said elsewhere, while lightsabers certainly glow, that glow fails to give off any real illumination. Most LEDs are like this; while they can glow quite visibly, even in bright sunlight, they're not particularly good at providing illumination. I've got a Swiss Army knife with an LED emergency light in it, and the only thing that the emergency light is good for is finding your real flashlight, and that's assuming you have a pretty good idea where it is relative to you to begin with.

Either way, most SW tech is extremely exotic, and is meant to verge onto that whole Arthur C. Clarke thing about sufficiently advanced technology. The tech base in SW is at least twenty-five thousand years old, after all.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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phongn
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Oct-11-01, 01:37 PM (EST)
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12. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #7
 
   It's too bad Robert Brown's website was shut down; he had a nice page of various explanations for lightsabers including the plasma theory, though the one he decided on was much different.


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Laudre
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Oct-11-01, 02:12 PM (EST)
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13. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #12
 
   >It's too bad Robert Brown's website was shut down; he had a nice page
>of various explanations for lightsabers including the plasma theory,
>though the one he decided on was much different.

*shrug* Since the one presented in all the various Extended Universe materials is consistent and identical, and is just pseudo-scientific enough to be plausible in the space fantasy context of Star Wars, that's the one I accept as canon until and unless it's contradicted by material in Attack of the Clones or Episode III. Since Lucas isn't into doing such explanations on-screen, apparently preferring to leave it to the semi-canon work of the EU designers, I doubt that'll happen. (Granted, since Kevin J. "Lemur on Crystal Meth" Anderson was the misguiding hand for much of the post-ROTJ EU continuity, it's not necessarily very good design work.)

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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phongn
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Oct-13-01, 05:57 PM (EST)
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21. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #13
 
   ::shrug::

I generally prefer explanations by Saxton, Brown, Wong or Young over the 'official' ones, since they generally make far more sense.


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Gryphonadmin
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Oct-11-01, 11:08 PM (EST)
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14. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #7
 
   >Hey, I don't come up with this stuff. I just flip through the tech
>references and RPG books. And all of them give exactly the same
>description of lightsaber technology.

Well, that's nice and all, but I think I'm with George on this one - I don't particularly care how they work, any more than I care how warp drive supposedly works or what the electrophysical principles behind fluorescent lighting are. Oh, a little pseudotechnical detail can be fun, and gives the engineer characters something to say so they sound like they know what they're doing, but on the whole, it doesn't matter how this stuff works. And in the case of lightsabers, it's even less significant - they're semi-mystic artifacts from a mostly-forgotten civilization which most educated people in the galaxy think was a myth. They're not supposed to be explicable. It's like performing a spectrographic analysis of the Holy Grail.

A few days ago I received one of those puzzling pieces of email I get now and then, from one of those peculiar people who come up with conundra like "I dislike everything you've ever written, but I think you're a good writer - so change your milieu and everything will be hunkey-dorey." In it, the correspondent made the (I think unfounded) charge, "I think there's a good hard-SF writer inside you, waiting to get out."

I shudder to think. May the gods preserve me from such a fate, if this man is correct.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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Laudre
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Oct-11-01, 11:59 PM (EST)
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15. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #14
 
   >Well, that's nice and all, but I think I'm with George on this one - I
>don't particularly care how they work, any more than I care how
>warp drive supposedly works or what the electrophysical principles
>behind fluorescent lighting are.

Story-wise, no, it really doesn't matter if it's plasma in a magnetic bottle or an energy arc, but just for the sake of consistency, an explanation should be developed and stuck with. I'm not saying it hasn't been; I'm just stating this as principle.

I've never said that lightsabers should function in UF the same way they do in SW, so long as they do the same thing, and that the UF-explanation is internally consistent. Don't matter to me, since the SW elements in UF are pretty mutated anyway. I was just pointing out the vast gulf between the H2G2 entry and the description of lightsaber tech given in the various SW references.

>hunkey-dorey." In it, the correspondent made the (I think unfounded)
>charge, "I think there's a good hard-SF writer inside you, waiting to
>get out."

...What?

Gryph, much as I enjoy your work, and occasional technical detailing aside (which seem to generally bear Zoner's fingerprints moreso, anyway), I don't see true hard SF being consistent with what you do write.

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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Gryphonadmin
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Oct-12-01, 00:50 AM (EST)
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17. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #15
 
   >Don't matter to me, since
>the SW elements in UF are pretty mutated anyway.

Heh heh - and you haven't met my version of Darth Vader yet... :)

>Gryph, much as I enjoy your work, and occasional technical detailing
>aside (which seem to generally bear Zoner's fingerprints moreso,
>anyway), I don't see true hard SF being consistent with what you do
>write.

I know, that's why this message mystified me so much. It's not consistent with what I like to read, let alone write. Would an embryonic "hard SF" writer be a Star Wars fan? (Or Trek, for that matter, which at its worst moments attempts to be hard SF, despite the fact that it is no more able to be so than an elephant is able to fly? :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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ejheckathorn
Member since Aug-9-13
33 posts
Oct-12-01, 01:16 AM (EST)
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18. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #17
 
   >Heh heh - and you haven't met my version of Darth Vader yet...
>:)

I thought that was John Coyle...

:)

Eric J. Heckathorn
ericjh@stargate.net

Eric J. Heckathorn


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goldenfire
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Oct-12-01, 11:25 AM (EST)
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19. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #18
 
   >>Heh heh - and you haven't met my version of Darth Vader yet...
>>:)
>
>I thought that was John Coyle...

he strikes me as more of an SD Vader, than a 'darth' anything :)

(SD Vader....hmmm kind of like 'dark helmet' I guess...but shorter, wider, adn with a BIGGER helmet)



==Jeremy
And who exactly is this diabolical 'they' to which we keep referring? If there's some grand conspiracy going on, the right hand doesn't appear to know what the left is doing. --Raziel (Soul Reaver II)


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Laudre
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Oct-12-01, 11:36 AM (EST)
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20. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #19
 
   >>>Heh heh - and you haven't met my version of Darth Vader yet...
>>>:)
>>
>>I thought that was John Coyle...
>
>he strikes me as more of an SD Vader, than a 'darth' anything :)
>
>(SD Vader....hmmm kind of like 'dark helmet' I guess...but shorter,
>wider, adn with a BIGGER helmet)

"You went over my helmet?!"
"Well... more... to the side..."

-- Sean --

http://www.thebrokenlink.org The Broken Link 4.0 is live!
"All tribal myths are true, for a given value of 'true'." -- Terry Pratchett
Follow my random thoughts
Follow my creative process


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Redneck
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Oct-12-01, 00:24 AM (EST)
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16. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #14
 
   >A few days ago I received one of those puzzling pieces of email I get
>now and then, from one of those peculiar people who come up with
>conundra like "I dislike everything you've ever written, but I think
>you're a good writer - so change your milieu and everything will be
>hunkey-dorey." In it, the correspondent made the (I think unfounded)
>charge, "I think there's a good hard-SF writer inside you, waiting to
>get out."

I can't help wondering if this guy is getting this from bits I've written...

Redneck (so I like explanations, even if they are techno-bullshit)

Red wizard needs money badly...
www.wlpcomics.com
White Lightning Productions - don't tell the Pope


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Redneck
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Oct-10-01, 01:50 PM (EST)
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10. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #2
 
   >>A lightsaber is a handmade technological weapon which generates a
>>tightly focused plasma bottle in a magnetic field. The blade can
>>generate heat within the magnetic field in excess of 2,000 degrees
>>Centigrade, but the magnetic bottle protects the wielder from the
>>heat. The weapon can cut through virtually any known substance, given
>>enough time, although the cuts are nly clean in the sense that they
>>are usually cauterized.
>
>This is marvelously detailed, and has absolutely nothing in common
>with the defined lightsaber technology of the semi-canon Star
>Wars
Extended Universe.

The Hitchhiker's Guide is quite frequently wrong on a great number of subjects.

However, magnetic fields are the only known energy-feasible means of getting a beam of energy to bend back upon itself anyway.


Redneck

Red wizard needs money badly...
www.wlpcomics.com
White Lightning Productions - don't tell the Pope


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Matrix Dragon
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Oct-10-01, 03:23 AM (EST)
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4. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #0
 
   I like it. Answers some of the questions I didn't bother to ask earlier in the duelling thread. Just one question: Do UF lightsabers have the bizarre ability to glow really brightly, yet emit no actual light?

Matrix Dragon

Matrix Dragon, J. Random Nutter


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Gryphonadmin
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Oct-10-01, 03:31 AM (EST)
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5. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #4
 
   >I like it. Answers some of the questions I didn't bother to ask
>earlier in the duelling thread. Just one question: Do UF lightsabers
>have the bizarre ability to glow really brightly, yet emit no actual
>light?

I imagine one can be used as a light source in an emergency, but you wouldn't particularly want to try to find your way in a darkened cave with just a lightsaber for illumination...

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, Netadmin
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/

-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


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dbrandon
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Oct-10-01, 10:50 AM (EST)
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8. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #0
 
   >A lightsaber is a handmade technological weapon which generates a
>tightly focused plasma bottle in a magnetic field. The blade can
>generate heat within the magnetic field in excess of 2,000 degrees
>Centigrade, but the magnetic bottle protects the wielder from the
>heat. The weapon can cut through virtually any known substance, given
>enough time, although the cuts are nly clean in the sense that they
>are usually cauterized.

If the plasma and generated heat is contained within a magnetic field, how does it interact with the target (blast door, thug-in-bar's arm, etc)? If the magnetic field is strong and stable, you've basically got a big, glowing stick. Excellent for guiding traffic and/or landing planes, not too good for making holes in baddies. As noted elsewhere in the thread, canon SW gets around this by basically being space opera-- there's an 'explanation', but not terribly realistic, much less plausible.

On a separate but related note-- does Redneck's generated beamstaff work on similar principles? Or is it just (to steal a phrase) a "visible aura manifestation", pure shaped energy?

Dan Brandon
---------
"It's much too early for this to be a funny" .sig


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Redneck
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Oct-10-01, 01:58 PM (EST)
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11. "RE: Lightsabers"
In response to message #8
 
   >>A lightsaber is a handmade technological weapon which generates a
>>tightly focused plasma bottle in a magnetic field. The blade can
>>generate heat within the magnetic field in excess of 2,000 degrees
>>Centigrade, but the magnetic bottle protects the wielder from the
>>heat. The weapon can cut through virtually any known substance, given
>>enough time, although the cuts are nly clean in the sense that they
>>are usually cauterized.
>
>If the plasma and generated heat is contained within a magnetic field,
>how does it interact with the target (blast door, thug-in-bar's arm,
>etc)? If the magnetic field is strong and stable,

It isn't.

When the blade contacts a surface, the magnetic field parts, allowing the plasma/energy to come into direct contact with that surface. The field seals itself around the surface being cut, so the blade maintains its integrity (except in a stabbing thrust) with zero loss of containment.

>On a separate but related note-- does Redneck's generated beamstaff
>work on similar principles? Or is it just (to steal a phrase) a
>"visible aura manifestation", pure shaped energy?

It's a similar principle. Magnetic fields are involved, and the glow of the staff comes from athmospheric reaction with those fields' resonance, but the blade itself might be plasma, pure energy, or whatever...

Redneck

Red wizard needs money badly...
www.wlpcomics.com
White Lightning Productions - don't tell the Pope


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