View Full Version : How does a laser blast actually kill?

12-12-2007, 01:50 PM
In Star Wars, the blasters fire some kind of "bolt" or "wad" of energy which glows. I've read some articles from real scientists who suggest that Star Wars lasers are really a form of plasma instead of true laser light.

So, whatever the case, how does a Star Wars blast of laser energy kill? We see the lightsaber cut through virtually anything leaving smoke and cauterizing wounds, so we know that this stuff is hot.

We also see Leia's arm on fire after she is merely wounded by a blaster hit while Stormtroopers taking a hit in their armor die instantly.

I'm wondering if the blaster fire somehow superheats the victim? Does it cause impact damage like a solid bullet would? What actually kills the victim? Any doctors out there? :hurt:

12-12-2007, 02:14 PM
Ah, good one. Yes, they are plasma. A laser is essentially a beam of light whereas the blaster shots are bolts of high-intensity plasma energy discharge that penetrate with enough power like a bullet to vaporize flesh while simultaneously cauterizing the surrounding tissue where it hits which if struck in many vital areas of the body i.e. head, chest, abdomem, would cause immediate death. Leia was "maimed" in the arm which immediately cauterized her laceration and was not a serious wound to disrupt her vital organs.

Plasma is the electrically charged ionization of electrons in gases which strip them from the atoms and change it to a solid state of matter. The bolts are essentially ion beams or "arcs." Varying degrees of temperature can effect the properties of plasma in everything from low-intensity plasma displays and lamps to a very intense form of plasma like a star.

El Chuxter
12-12-2007, 02:39 PM
Lasers are cowardly. Typically, they wait until someone is walking home after a date, and they drive up in a Lincoln and shoot the guy in the back. O yes.

12-12-2007, 09:16 PM
They melt the heart on contact.