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Star Wars Prequels Science

Physics Students Devise Concept For Star Wars-Style Deflector Shields 179

mpicpp (3454017) writes in with good news for everyone worrying about the strength of their shields. "If you have often imagined yourself piloting your X-Wing fighter on an attack run on the Death Star, you'll be reassured that University of Leicester students have demonstrated that your shields could take whatever the Imperial fleet can throw at you. The only drawback is that you won't be able to see a thing outside of your starfighter. In anticipation of Star Wars Day on 4 May, three fourth-year Physics students at the University have proven that shields, such as those seen protecting spaceships in the Star Wars film series, would not only be scientifically feasible, they have also shown that the science behind the principle is already used here on Earth."
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Physics Students Devise Concept For Star Wars-Style Deflector Shields

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  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @10:19PM (#46896249)

    lol, obvious troll is obvious.

    "forcefields" have been a staple of pulp scifi and space opera since space opera was first born. Try something like flash gordon, AC.

    Personally though, I suspect that getting a magnetic feild itself to behave as a metamaterial would be very effective in blocking coherent light beams, and probably with less power. It is important to note that magnetic field lines are themselves propagated using the same force carrier as the coherent light beam, since both are manifestations of electromagnetic energy.

    You dont need to block the incoming light beam, you just need to alter the beam frequency spread so that it stops being coherent and thus disperse it before it can come into contact with the outer surface of the ship. if the shield is projected far enough out away from the craft, this would result in a radical power reduction to square centimeter of ship surface, negating the ability of the laser to in any way damage the hull of said ship. Abusing magnetic fields into acting like metamaterials has been the subject of many interesting papers already.

    It would also solve the issue of being unable to see out of the cockpit.

  • Re:Lore (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cbhacking ( 979169 ) <been_out_cruisin ... om ['hoo' in gap> on Thursday May 01, 2014 @11:50PM (#46896657) Homepage Journal

    X-Wings (all rebel fighters, actually) had deflectors. There are any number of scenes that mention them. They weren't generally intended to stand up to capital ship batteries, but rather as protection against enemy fighters.
    TIE-Fighters (and bombers) did not have deflectors. They were mass-produced, cheap, crappy ships that didn't even possess hyperdrives (unlike the rebel fighters). However, your typical Star Destroyer could carry and man a *lot* of TIE fighters.

    In a way, it's actually kind of funny how X-wings were so weapon-heavy when their primary opposition could probably be one-shot-killed by a single reasonably large infantry weapon. On the other hand, TIE fighters were primarily anti-starfighter, wherein "quantity has a quality all its own" makes a fair bit of sense because they could win a war of attrition with cheap fighters. The job of taking out rebel capital ships was usually left up to the (typically much larger) imperial capitals.

    X-wings, Y-wings, and B-wings were designed to be effective against heavy targets (A-wings, which traded some firepower for greater agility, were the preferred rebel anti-fighter fighter), and while each one was individually superior to a TIE-fighter, the empire had a lot more TIEs than the rebellion had fighters of any kind. However, rebel fighters could effectively destroy Star Destroyers, and were also far more survivable in combat.

  • Re:Sorry but (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @03:23AM (#46897289)

    I've been looking into making one myself as a hobby project, to go with my can-crusher/disc-launcher. So far it's gotten as far as generating a very strong magnetic field (Solonoid, and it draws 500A at 12V - I'm powering it off an ultracap bank). Progress stopped there, because the next part of my design requires a supply of at least fifty kilovolts, DC, and that doesn't rectify easily. It'd need specialised, very expensive parts.

    The end goal is to flick marbles at it and watch them bounce off.

  • Re:Sorry but (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cyberchondriac ( 456626 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @10:39AM (#46899069) Journal
    As a dramatic/horror type scene, yes.. but for an action based space opera, it just wouldn't be remotely as engaging without the pwew pwews added in. They had the exact same discussion when developing the original Star Trek series in the '60s (and probably for TNG again too), and knowing full well there is no sound in space, they nonetheless decided to dub it in anyway after doing some tests. Consider it poetic license.

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.