Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-12-2019, 04:41 PM
Zyada is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Foat Wuth!
Posts: 5,325

Could you cook food with a light saber?


Inspired by a dream I had the other day - I think the dream involved cooking a chicken with radiant heat from a light saber. Hmmm...

Asked friends at work, and they thought you might be able to boil water and cook that way, but the weapon doesn't actually produce radiant heat. Any SW tech/food geeks want to chime in?
  #2  
Old 09-12-2019, 04:58 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 16,026
Any depiction of the burning / melting / cooking ability of a lightsaber has, I think, always been that the user is actually sticking the blade into the item in question -- holding the energy blade close to (but not touching) the object seems to do little or nothing.

There are enough examples of lightsaber blades being held very close to someone's face, with no apparent ill effects, to suggest that any "radiant heat" is minimal.

And, as per Wookiepedia -- though what's in the "Legends" section from which I'm quoting here is from official licensed sources (like books, video games, etc.) that are not strictly considered to be canonical at this point:

Quote:
A lightsaber blade was a mass-less form that neither radiated heat nor expended energy, other than that emitted as visible light, until it came into contact with something solid.
  #3  
Old 09-12-2019, 05:56 PM
enalzi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 8,266
I think you would pretty much have to stick the blade in the water to get it to boil.
  #4  
Old 09-12-2019, 06:00 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 29,128
I'll bet you could use a lightsaber to start a campfire.
  #5  
Old 09-12-2019, 06:10 PM
HaroldDix is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 54
This is just a wild ass guess based on a few "science" explanations of a light saber. The most "plausible" explanation is that a light saber is plasma held in place by a magnetic field so no heat escapes
If any heat energy were to escape we would melt everyone in the room when you turned it on based upon its cutting ability. So No probably can not cook anything without turning it into a pile of carbon or water vapor.
  #6  
Old 09-12-2019, 06:21 PM
cochrane is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Nekkid Pueblo
Posts: 22,332
Hmmphhh! That is why over fire rootleaf stew did Yoda cook.
  #7  
Old 09-12-2019, 07:37 PM
tricoteuse is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 157
LOL you could cook a roast as you slice it, I bet.
  #8  
Old 09-12-2019, 08:08 PM
Ike Witt's Avatar
Ike Witt is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lost in the mists of time
Posts: 14,929
Lightsaber bread/toast knife.
  #9  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:04 PM
Jonathan Chance is online now
Domo Arigato Mister Moderato
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: On the run with Kilroy
Posts: 22,974
I dunno, two light sabers melted a steel (or equivalent) door pretty quickly in The Phantom Menace. It has to work somehow.
  #10  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:25 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 16,026
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
I dunno, two light sabers melted a steel (or equivalent) door pretty quickly in The Phantom Menace. It has to work somehow.
As I noted in post #2, lightsabers are great cutting (or burning, or cooking) tools if in direct contact with what you want to cut (or burn, or cook ). Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon had the blades of their lightsabers thrust *into* those blast doors. If they had just been holding the blades close to the doors, it would have been a different story.
  #11  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:11 PM
TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 41,124
Just use the light saber to slice the food. The food will cook as you cut.
  #12  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:34 PM
Ukulele Ike is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 17,828
No.
__________________
Uke
  #13  
Old 09-13-2019, 01:41 AM
Alley Dweller's Avatar
Alley Dweller is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 4,378
Only if the comic book author or screenplay writer finds it useful in the story. In that case, it can be used to cook food as well as tickle unicorns.
  #14  
Old 09-13-2019, 09:44 PM
furryman's Avatar
furryman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Collinwood, Collinsport
Posts: 3,998
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
Only if the comic book author or screenplay writer finds it useful in the story. In that case, it can be used to cook food as well as tickle unicorns.
If I could write, I'd write a story about a Jedi unicorn with a light saber for a horn.
  #15  
Old 09-13-2019, 10:00 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 16,026
Quote:
Originally Posted by furryman View Post
If I could write, I'd write a story about a Jedi unicorn with a light saber for a horn.
Because you can find everything on the Internet: a picture on DeviantArt, of a Jedi unicorn fighting a Sith unicorn.
  #16  
Old 09-13-2019, 04:30 AM
Horatio Hellpop is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Jeju-si, S. Korea
Posts: 9,801
If you use it to kill a bantha and hollow it out so you can sleep in it without freezing to death, you can certainly use it to cook some bantha meat for breakfast the following morning. So, yes.
  #17  
Old 09-13-2019, 07:57 AM
CalMeacham's Avatar
CalMeacham is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 44,816
Interesting question.


I've always thought of light sabres as similar to the variable swords in Larry Niven's future universe. Visually, light sabres look very much the way I always envisioned variable swords to look. But a variable sword was a wire encased in a stasis field, and I wouldn't expect that (fictional, non-existent) technology to transfer any heat.

Light Sabres clearly can transfer heat on contact -- they simultaneously cut and cauterize wounds (so we don't get any yechhy blood when someone loses a limb, as they do in every movie. Or when Darth Maul got a spot hemicorporectomy at the end of Phantom Menace.

So think of light sabres as something more like lasers. They can produce very high heat on contact, but only in a very localized area. You wouldn't want to cook with a laser, would you? It'd take forever.






Of course, I'm wrong. There are entire web pages devoted to cooking with lasers:

https://www.creativemachineslab.com/laser-cooking.html

https://flintbox.com/public/project/49422/

You can make toast with QR codes burned in!
https://fukuchilab.org/projects/laser-cooking
https://www.newscientist.com/article...food-more-fun/

Laser-cooked bacon!
https://www.engadget.com/2015/11/12/...U36oH4sT_Jhlhs

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/133...g-with-lasers/


...and plenty more. If people can use the pinpoint heating of laser for practical cookery, they would be able to figure out a way to use the edge-only heat of a light sabre to do it ("move the blade slowly through the center of the steak, at a rate of no more than 1 cm per minute..."), even if it's even as crude as plunging the sabre into a pot of water to bring it to a boil.
__________________
The makers of the GoPro have to come out with a model called the "Quid"

Last edited by CalMeacham; 09-13-2019 at 07:57 AM.
  #18  
Old 09-13-2019, 08:58 AM
Folacin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North of the River
Posts: 3,692
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
...and plenty more. If people can use the pinpoint heating of laser for practical cookery, they would be able to figure out a way to use the edge-only heat of a light sabre to do it ("move the blade slowly through the center of the steak, at a rate of no more than 1 cm per minute..."), even if it's even as crude as plunging the sabre into a pot of water to bring it to a boil.
I'd think that the water would flash to steam rather than boil - what temperature did the sabres take the blast doors to, almost instantly?
  #19  
Old 09-13-2019, 09:04 AM
RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 41,792
We know from a movie that light sabers melt and burn things when they touch them. How they do that, but don't emit radiant heat, I don't understand, but they clearly do heat things up if they touch them. So you stick the light saber in water, boil the water, you can cook.
__________________
Providing useless posts since 1999!
  #20  
Old 09-13-2019, 10:39 AM
Ashtura is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,407
Thinly sliced meat would probably work, but I imagine the outsides would be burnt.
  #21  
Old 09-13-2019, 11:24 AM
Jonathan Chance is online now
Domo Arigato Mister Moderato
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: On the run with Kilroy
Posts: 22,974
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
We know from a movie that light sabers melt and burn things when they touch them. How they do that, but don't emit radiant heat, I don't understand, but they clearly do heat things up if they touch them. So you stick the light saber in water, boil the water, you can cook.
Look, we KNOW they give off heat. They radiate visible light and, as my beginning physic professor was fond of chanting - no kidding - "light is heat, heat is light".

The question becomes, really, how fast they can transfer that heat. What level of heat are they radiating? Some of it doesn't make sense, of course, because it's a movie.

The melting point of steel - using that as a substitute for the blast doors in TPM - is 1427 degrees centigrade. That's really freaking hot. At that point, the jedi should need some sort of protective gear to be anywhere near them when they're activated.

OK, so maybe it's just contact transfer. Fine. But they're activating those thing in an atmosphere. The air itself doesn't have a combustion point, as I recall, but flashing that sort of temperature into air will cause convection at a pretty sharp clip. I have a vision of jedi with their robes and hair and such caught in an uplifting whirlwind. Maybe to gain altitude they could use the jedi robes as mini lifting surfaces to float up without the force. Or maybe a force-assist. Who knows. This ain't that kinda movie, kid.

Anyway, lightsabers have to be really freaking hot, is what I'm saying. Really freaking hot.
  #22  
Old 09-13-2019, 11:31 AM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 16,026
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Look, we KNOW they give off heat. They radiate visible light and, as my beginning physic professor was fond of chanting - no kidding - "light is heat, heat is light".

The question becomes, really, how fast they can transfer that heat. What level of heat are they radiating? Some of it doesn't make sense, of course, because it's a movie.
And, in particular, it doesn't make sense because Star Wars Physics are a particularly inconsistent, nonsensical version of physics.

As noted upthread, there aren't any examples of lightsabers giving off radiant heat (though, you're right, if lightsabers were a real thing, they really *should*). Thus, it appears that, in goofy Star Wars Physics, they don't.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 09-13-2019 at 11:31 AM.
  #23  
Old 09-13-2019, 11:36 AM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 18,539
Seems to me that you'd need some sort of transfer medium (RickJay's water), if indeed lightsabers do not radiate or emit heat except through contact. So what you could do is use the lightsaber to slowly slice a slab off of a chunk of some kind of metal with really high thermal mass, and use that slab as a broiler, or as a heat source in an oven or something. Or use the lightsaber to boil water.

Otherwise, any sort of food/lightsaber contact is going to result in incinerated food.
  #24  
Old 09-13-2019, 04:44 PM
Jonathan Chance is online now
Domo Arigato Mister Moderato
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: On the run with Kilroy
Posts: 22,974
Hmm. Lightsaber slow cooker?

I'm seeing a market, here.
  #25  
Old 09-13-2019, 04:58 PM
Pleonast's Avatar
Pleonast is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Los 'Kamala'ngeles
Posts: 7,312
The real trick, of course, is shaving with a light sabre. And not just facial hair.
  #26  
Old 09-17-2019, 02:59 AM
MarvinKitFox is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 292
From Science:
Of course the lightsaber emits heat. It is a very bright lightsource, and light carries heat.(well energy, which just about always expresses as heat)
How much you get might be a problem.


From the movies:
Only by contact!
There are several scenes where lightsaber duellists hold their lightsaber VERY CLOSE to their own face, with no discomfort.
But in contact with flesh it sears instantly (Mos Eisley cantina fight)
and in sustained contact with metal it melts the metal *very rapidly*
((p.s. From that door-melting scene the apparent power output of a lightsaber is several GIGAwatt of power.
Apparently the Star Wars universe has gooooooood batteries!))
  #27  
Old 09-17-2019, 10:34 AM
Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 86,192
Need answer fast?
  #28  
Old 09-17-2019, 05:47 PM
ekedolphin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Suffolk, VA
Posts: 5,252
I think if it did boil water, it'd boil it to a temperature too hot for the pot to handle. (I am not a scientist.)
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017