World’s first real-life, retractable lightsaber created by Russian YouTuber

The lightsaber is one metre long and can reach a temperature of 2,800°C

Adam Smith
Friday 28 January 2022 21:55
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World’s first retractable lightsaber created by engineering YouTuber
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A YouTuber has become the first person to receive a Guiness World Record for creating a retractable lightsaber.

The blade measures over one metre in length, temperatures of 2,800°C, and can cut through steel.

"All my life I was a great Star Wars fan and the lightsaber was my most-wanted gadget," said Alex Burkan.

"Since 2013 the main field of my research and work was hydrogen generation equipment so I decided, maybe, that I could build something. "Every single step during [the] development and building process was a challenge."

Mr Burkan designed and built high pressure equipment that could be adapted for the lightsaber. This includes an electrolyser – a device to generate the necessarily high amounts of hydrogen and oxygen that can also compress the gas to any pressure without a mechanical compressor.

After hundreds of experiments, Mr Burkan was eventually able to adapt the electrolyser to reach the shape and length of a lightsaber – before moving on to designing the handle.

"The most challenging job was to squeeze the whole gas distribution system in a lightsaber handle”, he said.

The lightsaber can also attract lightning and other high voltage charges – but unfortunately only works for 30 seconds on full power before needing to be turned off.

"The hydrogen torch is not as stable as it could be and you can easily see it when it moves. Sometimes the lightsaber just blows up in your hand because of hydrogen flashback” Mr Burkan said.

Mr Burkan’s creation is not the only lightsaber created. YouTube creator James Hobson also created a retractable proto-lightsaber, but unlike Mr Burkan’s requires an external power source.

That version "is much more powerful, it definitely works longer than 30 seconds. Our duel would be extremely fast and furious, because I have only 30 seconds to win”, Mr Burkan said.

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