Special Operations Command has “completed ongoing testing and field evaluation studies” for something known as a Plasma Knife. What is a plasma knife, you ask? Here, let me show you what it resembles:

Yes, according to a Pentagon budget document, Special Operations Command developed a tool that is one step closer to an actual lightsaber. The Plasma Knife has a “blade” of glowing ionized gas that has the ability to cut through flesh without causing excess damage.

Could it perhaps cut someone’s hand off? I certainly wouldn’t want to be the test subject for that experiment.

The Plasma Knife is not used for combat however. It primarily has medical purposes for soldiers out in the field. As you probably know, if you get wounded in the field it is essential to tend to those wounds right away. However, you’re in a bit of a pickle when you’re in a remote location and you need prompt medical attention. Medics were in need of some type of instrument that could halt the flow of blood out in the field. They also needed an instrument that could aid in providing essential treatment that, before, only a medical facility could provide.

This is where the Plasma Knife comes in handy.

A Plasma Knife is used to stop blood flow from wounds by essentially melting your skin on top of the wound. It creates “an impermeable layer of necrotic tissue” over the wound. Think if it as a skin bandaid.

While Plasma Knifes resemble instruments used in radiosurgery, it’s actually quite different. The Plasma Knife produces plasma (duh) which can cut into dead tissue without causing any excess damage. It can also be used as a surgical cutting tool, even out in the field due to it being sterile. Furthermore, it could cauterize (create a skin bandaid) on the incision.

Pretty neat invention, huh? Let’s just hope those medics don’t have too much fun playing Jedi Knights.

Source: Wired