Build Your Own Lightsaber
Discovery Place Science
Have you ever wanted to have your very own lightsaber? While we can’t make a lightsaber like in the movies (yet!), we can use science to make our very own replica! Our replica won’t be as high tech, but what would a real lightsaber be made of?
From its name, you might think it is simply made of a laser. But there’s a small problem—lasers don’t have a fixed length. So, they would just go on forever, and you might accidentally burn the wall!
One possibility for making a lightsaber would be to use a controlled beam of plasma. Plasma is the fourth state of matter; it is a supercharged gas that can conduct electricity. It can look a little like this:
By creating a stream of superhot plasma, this would create a laser saber that would be able to cut through almost anything! This would be super dangerous, so we will be taking a safer approach to build our own sabers in this hands-on activity.
Learning Time: 15 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Age: 8+ years old
- Several sheets of white printer paper
- A small flashlight
- A permanent marker in the color you want your laser saber
- Clear tape, such as packing tape
- Duct tape
- Put a piece of packing tape over the light end of the flashlight. Use the permanent marker to color over the clear tape. This will be the color of your laser saber.
- Wrap a piece of printer paper around the flashlight and tape it together to form a hollow tube. We’re using printer paper because it will help diffuse, or soften, the direct light from the flashlight.
- Using a few more pieces of paper, repeat this process to get a longer saber.
- Cover the hole at the end of the printer paper tube with duct tape and turn on your laser saber!
Share your creation by tagging @discoveryplace on social media, and May the Fourth be with you!