5 Big Questions About the Science of ‘Star Wars’

4. WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE TO MASTER THE FORCE?

Imagine lifting a spaceship with the tip of your finger like Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back.Nepomuk Otte of the School of Physics says there are a few things you might want to consider: 

Didn’t we learn from physics classes about Newton’s third law? For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If true, it would mean that when Yoda exerts a force on the X-wing, Luke Skywalker’s spaceship should also exert the same amount of force on Yoda. So why doesn’t the little fella get squished like a mosquito?

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Luke Skywalker & Darth Vader. Credit: JD Hancock/flickr CC BY ND 2.0

“Violating action and reaction would shatter one of the most sacred laws in physics—momentum conservation. But Yoda moves the spacecraft with ease and shuffles away unscathed. The Jedi Master must be surrounded by some sort of shield that absorbs the reaction part of the force. When you attempt to use the Force, make sure you have one of those shields, too, or you might suffer the consequences.”

Let’s dive deeper into the Force for our final exploration…

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