Science and Star Wars

The Death of Admiral OzzelAs Star Wars fever heats up toward its inevitable pandemic in 2015, when J. J. Abrams is slated to release the yet-untitled Chapter VII, the first symptoms are already apparent over at Wired Science, where physics professor Rhett Allain reflects on his Reddit AMA session discussing the science of the cinematic saga. Actually, he’s giving out homework:

• How hot is a light saber? (from roguepublichealth) I think you have to first figure out what a light saber actually is and why it glows.

• How much material would be needed to build the Death Star (from astanisic) You will obviously need some estimates here. If you want a second question, how long would it take to put this Death Star together. You can answer for both the first (Episode IV) and second (Episode VI) Death Stars – which are different sizes.

The physics of choking someone to deathAnd so on. In truth, it’s not one of his better Dot Physics posts, but only because he’s asking the questions and not explaining the answers. For instance, there is more to learn from his consideration of the vital question, “How much does Darth Vader weigh?”

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