An astrobiologist figured out how to build a Dyson sphere

An astrobiologist figured out how to build a Dyson sphere

Among the disturbing – but predictable – news of humanity is the fact that it quickly risks confronting it lack of energy. Moreover, this is not a new omen: already in 1960, British-American theorist Freeman Dyson He was worried about it and was looking for a solution to the problem.

Then the physicist imagined some kind of giant structure, Dyson Domain: Built around a star that makes it possible to harness its energy. But the scientist left no clues necessary to achieve what he simply described ‘habitable crust’.

From then until today, Freeman Dyson’s theory has never ceased to fascinate even the most ambitious scientists. According to Popular MechanicsAnd the German astrobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch It would be very close to a possible visualization of the famous ball.

Imagine that all of our sun’s energy is available and usable by humans. No doubt: us Moving to the second stage of the Kardashev scaleThis would make it possible to respond to the energy crisis in the very long term and even dream bigger. Why, for example, not use this energy to propel us toward exoplanets, and possibly find other forms of life beyond Earth?

Swarm of flying objects

Dirk Schulz McCutch Professor of Technical University of Berlin. Fascinated by the hypotheses of extraterrestrial life, he began to be interested in the Dyson circuit about ten years ago.

Together with Brooks Harrop, one of his former students, he identified several problems in his generally accepted design. And most importantly: the danger of the ball collapsing under the colossal gravitational weight, since no material available today can withstand such a force. Engineers who imagined a resistive structure showed that it would use much, if not all, of the central star’s energy.

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If we can solve this first hurdle, there is still a question asteroids And the Solar flares which the structure must also withstand.

Dyson himself found a possible solution: a disconnected structure in the form of a swarm of flying objects, placed in independent orbits around the star. It will then take about 10 million.

So Dirk Schulz McCutch and his student imagined a determination to meet these challenges, and they named it Wind Solar Power Satellite (SWPS). Their idea: satellites don’t use the energy of visible light, but the electrons that make up half solar wind.

These satellites, each weighing about 3.7 tons, will each serve needs equivalent to those of 1,000 American homes. They can be made with relatively inexpensive materials, such as copper wire.

On the other hand, although they require little maintenance, these satellites will not be self-cleaning and will wear out over time. Another obstacle is the organization necessary to deploy several million – or even billions – of satellites into orbit.

If these challenges have not yet found sufficient answers, the hypothesis put forward by Dirk Schulze Makuch is that Extraterrestrial life forms Evolution has already achieved this.

According to the physicist, if a form of life appears on a habitable planet, it eventually evolves and becomes intelligent, and the basis for this argument is that the great developments on Earth seem to have occurred several times independently of each other.

According to Dyson himself, if an extraterrestrial life form had achieved the Dyson sphere, we would be able to detect its existence. Perhaps the inhabitants of other planets have come to the same conclusion as the researcher, that this is perhaps not the most practical invention to respond effectively to the energy crisis?

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