Could a lightsaber cut through adamantium? Like many things, it depends.

This argument gains traction because Wolverine´s indestructible claws and the lightsabers from star wars are some of the most recognizable and most liked weapons in pop culture. These are also weapons of extremes. Lightsabers could cut through almost anything and Wolverine´s claws can only be cut by adamantium. To put these weapons against each other, we need to desuperfy their abilities or we learn nothing. So the lightsaber can´t be just a laser sword as george lucas often calls it.

It needs to be something to transmit heat effectively, so for this comparison we will have it be plasma. It also needs to have a reasonable amount of heat, like tens of thousands of degrees like a plasma cutter that we use in machining or a lightning bolt. To make adamantium more analyzable, we have to recognize there is no metal that can be liquid once. In X-Men 2 William Striker said that adamantium is liquid at 1500 degrees fahrenheit. This now looks unfair but a lightsaber can be nerfed by thermodynamics and adamantium could have an extremely high specific heat capacity. Specific heat capacity is the amount of energy required to raise one gram of something one degree. Just how much energy the atoms can store depends on the atoms themselves and the interactions between them.

This is specific heat capacity. Adamantium could have a high specific heat capacity by storing energy that is not common to metals. Then it would take a lot of heat to raise it to that melting point. A lightsaber may not even be able to transfer all that heat energy fast enough. An example is When Randall Munroe of xkcd calculated that a bullet passing through a lightning bolt would not dissenigrate because all the heat energy was not transferred fast enough. We need to have a power rating for a lightsaber. The best example is when Qui Gon Jinn plunges his lightsaber through the blast door in the phantom menace. He melts a lightsaber’s worth of material.

If we assume his lightsaber is 1 meter long and 3 cm wide and the door is steel then doing some math we get the power output of 4 megawatts. Enough power to power a thousand homes. So if a lightsaber has to get through all three claws and the contact time is only 1 tenth of a second the claws would be fine. But if you increase the contact time to only 1 second like the classic locked blade scenario then it would cut through them. It all comes down to time and the battle itself.

So the winner would depend on which hero uses their weapon most effectively. My personal winner for this is the lightsaber. Wars The Phantom MenaceXMen 2

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