Nb: This question was posted in sandbox for proposed questions!
Design Goals: The weapon should be capable of delivering a powerful impact, but would be super easy to turn. Not to mention that the sword should be powerful enough to cut through most solid things. Despite its ability to cut through most materials, the blade should be safe to use, that is, when facing another ordinary metal sword, the opponent's sword wouldn't just be sliced and the sliced opponent's blade flown with its remaining momentum toward the user. In another word, when detecting a potentially dangerous situation as outlined, the sword should be able to repel opponent's metal sword than just slicing it.
Current Design Solution: If summarized, current solutions provide these features:
The sword is hollow, inner parts would be for counter masses and machinery.
- The blade is an empty hard shell of strong yet light material (perhaps diamondoid, graphene, or even carbon-nanotube reinforced steel).
- The handle is filled with computer control units, magnetic actuators to move the counter masses around the rails and an energy source.
The cutting edge is composed of microscopic "curtain-held"s arranged in a row along the sharp edge. The "curtain-held"s would erect curtains of some kind of monomolecular wire along the path of the edge when in use (yes, you could see that this is partly inspired by this answer). The monomolecular wire would be either graphene as the answer linked suggest, or TMDC ribbons. The curtains could be superheated to aid in cutting power. As a safety measure it could also produce strong magnetism or eddie currents that repels an opponent's metal sword when in close proximity.
Dynamic mass counterbalance system inside the sword that could be used to shift the center of mass of the sword, and is generally heavy, comprising at least half of the weapons whole mass. The inner side of the blade's "shell" would be a rail system extending from near the tip of the blade to near the end of the handle, of which a number of heavy counter masses would be shifted to change the whole sword's center of mass in battle according to need. Practically there are at least two different configurations in use during battle:
- center of gravity moved to near the tip of blade for swinging and slashing, or
- center of gravity moved to near the handle for easy and quick turning.
Has sufficient battery power and strong capacitor that must be able to supply the system with enough energy to move the counter masses and power its integrated control circuits. Also to heat the cutting strand if heating is necessary.
The weapon is about 1.5 meters in length (1.2 meters in blade and 0.3 meters in handle). The mass could be anywhere between 5 kg to 7 kg (perhaps the upper limit could be up to 10 kg).
Modus of Operation: Basically to operate it, when it is swung, the center of mass would be changed to be near the tip of the blade to increase the hitting mass, while to rotate the blade the center of mass would be moved near the handle.
What I would like to know is whether or not this arrangement is conceivable or even plausible.
Ps: Assume that the weight of the sword is not an issue for the wielder.
Thanks for everyone that contribute in this questions! With so many comments and broad range of topics discussed in it I feel like it would be better to address it with a statement in the question instead. With this edit I would like to clarify some points:
- Apparently some answers address the fact that this sword may be difficult to wield, or might not always be in the favor of the wielder. This sword is designed to be wielded not by man but by some other creature that could micromanage the sword on the fly, and yes every mechanism of the sword is manually controlled by the user.
- Another thanks for those that mentioned the problem with heated sword, especially (@John) the fact that TMDC or monolayer materials may burn in oxygen rich environment (and our atmosphere is!). Other than that, heat may weaken the sword even more (@John, and PipperChip).
- Apparently user stated that shift-able center of mass would not add any benefit, that even a solid sword with no dynamic center of mass would be more or less the same in term of efficiency (@John), and center of mass near the handle wouldn't help in rotating or manipulating the blade any faster either (@Aify).
- Also qualification I use to decide which of the answers is the best answer would be those that could answer the actual question (in bold), and there are many to choose, most qualifies as such. Therefore I'll wait for some days before I would pick one.