I love smart people. Clever guys and girls who can crunch the numbers on the universe's greatest puzzles. One of those puzzles surrounds a story set in a galaxy far, far away: could we invent the planet-destroying laser that was mounted to the Death Star in Star Wars?
According to DeepSkyVideos on YouTube, we're not even close.
To invent a laser capable of blowing up a planet, you'd have to have a laser capable of producing 20,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 joules of energy for a period of around five seconds. Powering that laser with simple electricity would be difficult, too, requiring around a trillion years to power up, which is longer than the life-span of the universe itself.
To power it in the Star Wars universe, you'd have to procure enough magic material to rival the size of Mount Everest, just for one shot.
Putting the insane power requirements to the side for one moment, how close has humanity come to inventing this crazy laser? Not very: the most powerful laser is one being used by in the US that is 10,000,000,000,000,000 times less powerful than the one required to blow up a planet.
We're going to need to do much better at this than we're doing, planet Earth. The Galactic Empire could already have their own crazy laser, remember...