Colonize cool white dwarfs

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Summary:
Would it be possible for intelligent life to colonize white dwarf stars when they become cool enough in the future? After all stars in the universe have left the main sequence I think they may be the places that intelligent life colonizes in order to survive if indeed they will be colonizible.
Colonizing white dwarf s.
 

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  • #2
Bandersnatch
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Sounds like a terribly convoluted way to make pancakes.
 
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  • #3
Klystron
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If this thread resided under the science fiction sub-forum, I would direct the OP to the novel "Dragon's Egg" by physicist Robert Forward who speculates how complex molecules and life might evolve under extreme conditions on a neutron star.
 
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berkeman
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Would it be possible for intelligent life to colonize white dwarf stars when they become cool enough in the future?
What temperature range is "cool enough" for the surface of white dwarf stars to be habitable (presumably with insulation?)? Do you have any links to references about their temperature? Thanks.
 
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Keith_McClary
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According to NASA, the gravity on the surface of a white dwarf is 350,000 times that of gravity on Earth.
...
The neutron star's compactness gives it a surface gravity of up to 7×10^12 m/s² with typical values of order 10^12 m/s² (that is more than 10^11 times that of Earth).
 
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It's been quoted that it would take trillions of years for a white dwarf to cool so none have ever reached that point yet.
 
  • #7
Klystron
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Sounds like a terribly convoluted way to make pancakes.

If this thread resided under the science fiction sub-forum, I would direct the OP to the novel "Dragon's Egg" by physicist Robert Forward who speculates how complex molecules and life might evolve under extreme conditions on a neutron star.
According to NASA, the gravity on the surface of a white dwarf is 350,000 times that of gravity on Earth.
...
The neutron star's compactness gives it a surface gravity of up to 7×10^12 m/s² with typical values of order 10^12 m/s² (that is more than 10^11 times that of Earth).

@Bandersnatch humor makes excellent sense given conditions. The (fictional) inhabitants of Dragon's Egg, roughly the mass of an adult human in the volume of a sesame seed, call themselves 'pancakes' using a term for the breakfast item from Chinese culture to mask the humor.

Author R. L. Forward manages extreme gravity and temperatures gracefully for the hypothetical life adapted to flourish on a magnetar. I re-read the novel recently to recollect how the author deals with the intense electromagnetic fields.
A magnetar is a type of neutron star believed to have an extremely powerful magnetic field (∼109 to 1011 T, ∼1013 to 1015 G).
High temperature and pressure adaptation from the wiki notes on the novel:
... Dragon's Egg cools enough to allow a stable equivalent of "chemistry", in which "compounds" are constructed of nuclei bound by the strong force, rather than of Earth's atoms bound by the electromagnetic force. As the star's chemical processes are about one million times faster than Earth's, self-replicating "molecules" appear shortly and life begins on the star. As the star continues to cool, more complex life evolves, until plant-like organisms appear...
 
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  • #8
stefan r
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Aliens capable of interstellar travel could colonize white dwarf systems right now. No need from them to cool off. A planet in the habitable zone would tidally lock but that would not rule out colonizing it. They also might not colonize planets at all. If you can survive interstellar travel why would you need to land on a planet?

Here is a paper that totally does not meet physics forums' standard for peer reviewed journals. It was, however, written by physicists in a real physics department and the paper has that academic look to it. Might be the best available for this particular topic.
 

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