2008-09-24

Geek Porn: Future-Tech Tricorders and Lightsabers

Applied quantum entanglement principles, realized on a small scale, could produce high-quality EM scans from a handheld device. While this much was obvious (albeit sci-fi for now), not as readily apparent is the statement that entangled emission and detection can achieve similar quality of information with as little as a millionth of the energy input.

While I'm not sure about the direct scaling as suggested by the reviewer in the linked article (a microwatt CT scan? Come now . . . ), the principle could certainly result in a CT-type scanner operating off of the future equivalent of AA batteries.

We're already getting close to tricorder goodness with use of ultra-wideband signals, which allow for a scanning device that can effectively see through doors and walls.

Elsewhere in Geekville, you can tie knots in light beams, after a fashion, by way of electric and magnetic field lines linking up. Among other things, this can be used for plasma confinement.

Of course, it's not too hard to make the mental leap from "shaped light-thingy" to "long shaped light-thingy", i.e. lightsaber, whether merely as confined light or in the form of a confined plasma sword. Whether this idea would actually support such an application (even theoretically) I leave to the future to decide. In the meantime, though, my geeky brain will leap to that conclusion post-haste.

Also cool in that article is the storyboard of how focus fusion is supposed to work, which is the first time I'd heard of such a concept. Given that I was already thinking of lightsabers, certain elements of the focus fusion idea made me think of the Death Star superlaser.

Tacking back on a tangent from that and going back to knotted light beams, we could at least now have a tentative explanation for how a laser could stop in mid-space and join up with other lasers in a lasery cloud before launching off to blow up a planet.

But, of course, we no longer need one. Between my exploration of SW canon and the recent EU books like Death Star, the superlaser is widely known not to be a mere laser. Ironic, no?

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that anyone would think the DS Superlaser was an actual laser, since it would make more sense to simply divide that firepower up among its ships, as the total energy-output would be the same, but it would be a good deal more versatile (and safer) than such a single hulk. Rather, the Death Star would simply be the SMALLEST that they could make such an advanced planet-destroying device. The DS2, meanwhile, seemed to have the dual-purpose of destroying both planets and capships, having a variable-aimed device (but would be useless against ST starships due to the FTL sensors ability to maneuver at warp).
    --Tulkas

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