Plasma scalpels to be used on the battlefield
The Jedi Lightsaber is one step closer to reality ...
Remember in Empire Strikes Back when Han Solo takes Luke’s light saber and cuts up a TaunTaun in order to stuff Luke in it and save him from frost bite? Pure fiction, to be sure, but news has come that a plasma knife – or scalpel – has passed field tests with the US Army.
The plasma knife contains a beam of glowing, ionized gas for a blade and will be able to slice and cauterize a wound that soldiers suffer on the battlefield, effectively closing off any bleeding immediately. The plasma knife can accomplish this by creating an “impermeable layer of necrotic tissue” around the wound. Translation – you seal the wound by searing it, effectively killing the tissue that gets exposed to the blade. Plasma is particularly effective because it can penetrate the porous outer layer of tissue without damaging it, thus cutting off serious bloodflow from major blood vessels without doing major damage to surrounding tissue. Aside from every Star Wars geeks fantasy, the potential of saving lives due to “bleeding out” is immense.
The plasma knife is also field friendly in that it is low power, not requiring a major power connection to run it and implying a separate portable power pack.
Strictly speaking, the plasma knife isn’t a mini light saber. But it’s the first steps in what is surely life imitating art.
Hat Tip – Wired via The Giz