Let me clarify what I'm asking if you don't understand. I am asking if it would be possible to create an object [any object (preferably a sword)] out of photons and (if needed) other particles.

when I say object I mean "a material thing that can be seen and touched".

This means that this "hard light" object must be able to interact with regular matter ("regular matter" within this context refers to the type of matter you see everyday).

and please.. Do NOT make the answer to this question one entire handwave (handwaving is allowed but if the answer is just one big handwave that uses NO science then I will disregard it as "not what I'm looking for")

I look forward to seeing your answers.

P.S. excuse the weird format of this question. It's my first time asking a question on Stack Exchange.

P.P.S. Yes, I am well aware that their is already a question of this nature. Sadly the answers to that question were not what I was looking for.

Have a great day!

  • $\begingroup$ I would doubt. The 'touch' is mostly electromagnetic forces between particles. Photons don't interact electromagnetically - they are the interaction in a sense. Also - how would you keep photons in one place? They can travel only at one speed - c - or they don't exists. You can keep them only in one place when your definition of single place is weird (a.k.a. singularity a.k.a. black hole). $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2017 at 3:51
  • $\begingroup$ Photonic molecules are somewhat like that, but not really. It's the closest thing I know of. $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2017 at 3:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for trying anyway. Have a great day/night/etc.! $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2017 at 4:00
  • $\begingroup$ Touchable holograms are also somewhat like that, but again, not really. $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2017 at 4:01
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You said other answers are “not what I'm looking for”. But you should link to the other questions and explicitly state what’s different. Otherwise, hiw do I know you found the same duplicate we did, and (if so) have any clue why you say it's not what you’re looking for when it’s exacgly the same answer I would give yoiu here? $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Jan 4, 2017 at 5:17

1 Answer 1


Short answer to your question: No. Photons cannot be used to make a hard object. There is no way to accommodate your requirements realistically.

It is however possible to give you something somewhat similar to what you might be looking for.

Long answer: So I'm assuming you just want to incorporate laser swords into whatever work you are making in a plausible way, and luckily for you there is a way: Plasma.

Plasma is a state of matter which comes into being when gas is heated or subjected to an electric current, where electrons previously bound to nuclei can start to move freely.

Plasma can then consequently be subjected to a magnetic field and thus made to form a tight loop mimicking the look of a true blade. In addition when you do subject it to a magnetic field the plasma naturally releases energy in the form of photons(so it would basically look like a sword made of light).

Because of this released energy this "plasma blade" could cut through a great number of things: organic matter, metals, rocks, etc...

However since the blade wouldn't actually be solid at all, depending on the charge of the magnetic fields of both blades interactions with other plasma blades would vary from messing both blades up, to cancelling fields out, etc... But you could probably explain this away with some sort of fast adaption of the magnetic fields to compensate for these effects by some automatic computer chip. In which case, both blades could pass right through each other.

Note: I have to point out that while all this is theoretically possible, some rather great feats of engineering would have to be accomplished to make these swords actually feasible. Whether this is an issue, is up to you.

  • $\begingroup$ I answered this before, here $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Jan 4, 2017 at 5:13
  • $\begingroup$ @JDługosz My answer provides a bit more information about how to actually create objects similar to what was wanted. At best you could say the question itself is a duplicate of the one you responded to. $\endgroup$
    – AngelPray
    Jan 4, 2017 at 5:19
  • $\begingroup$ So something that glows is partly “made of” photons? Ah, I see, you’re answering Y and saying he has an X for Y issue. But he also says “no handwaving” so I'd take his request more literally. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Jan 4, 2017 at 5:27
  • $\begingroup$ my remark is a standard note to avoid further splitting up of answers across duplicate questions. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Jan 4, 2017 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ May the force be with you, Jedi knight! $\endgroup$ Jan 4, 2017 at 12:11

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