In the latest effort to return Star Wars to the realm of practical effects, scientists in Poland are researching how to make a laser pistol modeled after those seen in the iconic film series. IGN reports that researchers at the Laser Centre of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences—along with help from the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw—have filmed an actual laser blast traveling down a hallway, one they didn’t just paint there in post-production like some people.
According to team leader Yuriy Stepanenko, a movie camera would have to operate “at a speed of a billion frames per second” to capture a real laser blast. Stepanenko says the scientists created their video by showing a different blast in every frame, moving through a dispersing cloud of condensed water vapor. Stepanenko adds that laser beams traveling through the air like this would actually be white. So, maybe open a book next time before you make a film that uses this kind of technology, Hollywood.