Dyson spheres

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  • #2
yourdadonapogostick
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no. they are to inefficient and would take more matter than there is in the system to build, iirc
 
  • #3
Danger
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Larry Niven's 'Ringworld' idea is far more interesting, and probably easier to produce.
 
  • #4
KonradKorzenowski
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yourdadonapogostick said:
no. they are to inefficient and would take more matter than there is in the system to build, iirc

What do you mean inefficient, currently Earth receives only one billionth of the sun's energy. With a Dyson sphere we would be able to collect nearly one hundred percent of the sun's released energy. Also if we used the asteroid belt as a source we would have ample material.
 
  • #5
yourdadonapogostick
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how would it collect all of that energy?
 
  • #6
KonradKorzenowski
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A Dyson "bubble"—has been proposed in which the shell would be complete, very thin, and non-rotating. It would consist of statites, or stationary solar sails, which reflected light onto collectors for use in external habitats. The entire mass of the structure would be approximately that of the Moon or a large asteroid.

Did you read the article?
 
  • #7
yourdadonapogostick
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that is a vast underestimate for the mass
 
  • #9
MarsGhost
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I agree about the underestimation. Plus, it'd have to be a specific material. Hey, here's an idea, let's use our iron core! Joking aside, What's more plausible, but still way off is a much smaller -belt- of solar cells within mercury's orbit, rather than this vast... Thing. Even that takes up more silicon than is available. Any people from the Nulcei and Particles forum want to help make some?
 
  • #10
PhysicsEnthusiast
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I believe the Dyson Sphere is possible. We need to have full blown nanontechnology to reproduce the building materials such as the particles in space and the other matters in our solar system and convert them into something dense like diamond. The whole structure would be built out of diamond created from the particles in our solar system. Full blown nanontechnology can do this. We would then be a class 2 civilization when its all said and done.
 
  • #11
yourdadonapogostick
270
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lets make some quick calculations. [tex]M=90000000000000000(\pi)(thickness)(density_{material used})[/tex]

and it has to be at least so thick or it won't hold
 
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  • #12
russ_watters
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KonradKorzenowski said:
What do you mean inefficient, currently Earth receives only one billionth of the sun's energy. With a Dyson sphere we would be able to collect nearly one hundred percent of the sun's released energy.
But so what? What does that do for us? Right now, a solar cell 300km by 300km would pretty much cover all our energy needs.

Quick calculation on amount of material were talking about: the suface area of a Dyson sphere would be about 2.8 E17 square km. At a hundredth of a mm thick (for a mylar-like solar collector), that's 2.8E9 km^3. The volume of the moon is 2.1 E10 km^3. So that's 1/10 the volume of the moon. But that doesn't include the structure needed to hold sections of it flat and pointed at collectors.

The other types of Dyson spheres would use far more material and would not be possible, much less feasible any time in the next few milenia.
 
  • #13
yourdadonapogostick
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russ_watters said:
Quick calculation on amount of material were talking about: the suface area of a Dyson sphere would be about 2.8 E17 square km. At a hundredth of a mm thick (for a mylar-like solar collector), that's 2.8E9 km^3. The volume of the moon is 2.1 E10 km^3. So that's 1/10 the volume of the moon. But that doesn't include the structure needed to hold sections of it flat and pointed at collectors.
wouldn't a sphere like that act like a big solar sail in every direction? solar wind would push the mylar-like foil thingy against the frame and i would think it would eventually tear...not to mention comets, micrometeors, and all the other little things that would rip a gaping hole in it. even if we had enough mass in our system to make a strong, stable Dyson sphere, most of it wouldn't be usable. you can't really make a Dyson sphere out of gas.
 
  • #14
PhysicsEnthusiast
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russ_watters said:
Quick calculation on amount of material were talking about: the suface area of a Dyson sphere would be about 2.8 E17 square km. At a hundredth of a mm thick (for a mylar-like solar collector), that's 2.8E9 km^3. The volume of the moon is 2.1 E10 km^3. So that's 1/10 the volume of the moon. But that doesn't include the structure needed to hold sections of it flat and pointed at collectors.

The other types of Dyson spheres would use far more material and would not be possible, much less feasible any time in the next few milenia.

It's all possible m8. Even Einstein said that all things are possible with imagination. We just need nanontechnology to be fully developed. Advanced Nanotechnology can basically transform any material into anything else and nanotechnology has the ability to reproduce and make limitless copies of that material.

You know how many particles there are in the volume of our entire solar system? There's more than enough building blocks to convert required for the Dyson Sphere. Diamond would the ideal converted material for the exterior shell of the entire Dyson sphere because it is dense and extremely durable. The inner shell would be composed of solar cells.
 
  • #15
russ_watters
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PhysicsEnthusiast said:
It's all possible m8. Even Einstein said that all things are possible with imagination.
Well sure, if you assume anything is possible, then anything is possible. That's redundant and meaningless. I hate to break it to you though: not everything is possible. We are constrained by the laws of science and physical reality.
Advanced Nanotechnology can basically transform any material into anything else and nanotechnology has the ability to reproduce and make limitless copies of that material.
I don't know where you get that idea. That doesn't sound like nanotechnology to me, that sounds like Star Trek replicators.
 
  • #16
PhysicsEnthusiast
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russ_watters said:
Well sure, if you assume anything is possible, then anything is possible. That's redundant and meaningless. I hate to break it to you though: not everything is possible.

Your type of response is just as or even more redundant, predictable, and meaningless to a statement like mine. I believe everything is possible. We just haven't explored every aspect of physics and quantum physics yet. We are only constrained to the limits of our discoveries so far. We only think in 3 dimensional terms and we are only infants in this vast universe thinking we are so experienced in knowledge. We still have a long way to go, experts like you, or students like me, we are all the same. We are nothing more than pupils in this school called reality.

There are infinite things to learn. The concept of infinity itself is beyond comprehension and we can only (as of now) represent it with a sideways "8". For example, we still don't know what is the energy source for gravity and all other types of energy. We only know how they work, but what are their energy sources? We are still unsure as to what dark energy and dark matter are.

The only obstacle in mankind's way is his arrogance of the limited knowledge that he has accumulated thus far, making him closed-minded to unconventional ways of thinking. The fact that we can imagine things that aren't consistent with the "laws of physics" shows the unlimited potential we really have. We just haven't been able to tap (at least not yet) into that realm of higher logic.

russ_watters said:
We are constrained by the laws of science and physical reality. I don't know where you get that idea. That doesn't sound like nanotechnology to me, that sounds like Star Trek replicators.

http://www.nanomagazine.com/i.php?id=2002_11_25 [Broken]
 
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  • #17
russ_watters
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PhysicsEnthusiast said:
I believe everything is possible.
I'm sorry, but that attitude is incompatible with science.
The only obstacle in mankind's way is his arrogance of the limited knowledge that he has accumulated thus far, making him closed-minded to unconventional ways of thinking.
You need to recognize that "unconventional ways of thinking" are still going to be constrained by the laws of physics.
The fact that we can imagine things that aren't consistent with the "laws of physics" shows the unlimited potential we really have.
No, all that shows is that humans are capable of writing good fiction.

Let me give you an example: I can imagine a universe with a different gravitational constant. In it, I can jump so high I can jump over buildings. How does my imagination of it help make that universe a reality?

Or how about imagining a universe where a=fm instead of f=ma? What does that do for us?
 
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  • #18
PhysicsEnthusiast
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russ_watters said:
I'm sorry, but that attitude is incompatible with science.
It might be incompatible with our limited understanding of science. But who's to say that all of science (I'm referring to all the unexplored areas of science) has been explored? Isn't the mindset of an explorer the best attitude for scientists, no? Or should scientist remain closeminded and satisfied with current physics only? o_O

russ_watters said:
You need to recognize that "unconventional ways of thinking" are still going to be constrained by the laws of physics.
No. Unconventional ways of thinking are only constrained by how much of what we know of physics today. Are you saying that we have explored all of physics? That's why its still called "uncoventional", because it doesn't agree with current physics. But when we expand our thinking annd explore the greater unknowns of all of science, you never know, it might just become conventional, no? o_O

Oh well, I'm only 16. You are probably wiser than me by a long shot. You could be right of course and I could be wrong... :uhh:
 
  • #19
russ_watters
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PhysicsEnthusiast said:
It might be incompatible with our limited understanding of science. But who's to say that all of science (I'm referring to all the unexplored areas of science) has been explored?
No one is saying that all that there is to discover has been discovered. You're misunderstanding the problem.
Isn't the mindset of an explorer the best attitude for scientists, no? Or should scientist remain closeminded and satisfied with current physics only? o_O
A scientist should be open minded, but should also understand that there are limts to what we can do. We are not omnipotent.
No. Unconventional ways of thinking are only constrained by how much of what we know of physics today. Are you saying that we have explored all of physics?
No, I'm not saying that. You're misunderstanding the problem with what you are saying.

Science is like a building. One floor is built on top of the previous. It is extremely rare that more than a small fraction of the floors are knocked down to be replaced by new floors. Ie, no amount of future scientific investigation is going to change our understanding of f=ma, for example. And we never, ever knock the whole thing down and start from scratch.

Some of the things that you are proposing would actually require our existing knowledge to be wrong - not just incomplete. That simply isn't possible. For example, if you use an accurate scale to measure the mass of an object, you'll get, say, 1.0001 kg. No amount of future analysis of that object will yield a mass of 1000 kg.
 
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  • #20
PhysicsEnthusiast
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russ_watters said:
Science is like a building. One floor is built on top of the previous. It is extremely rare that more than a small fraction of the floors are knocked down to be replaced by new floors. Ie, no amount of future scientific investigation is going to change our understanding of f=ma, for example. And we never, ever knock the whole thing down and start from scratch.

Some of the things that you are proposing would actually require our existing knowledge to be wrong - not just incomplete. That simply isn't possible. For example, if you use an accurate scale to measure the mass of an object, you'll get, say, 1.0001 kg. No amount of future analysis of that object will yield a mass of 1000 kg.

I have to agree with you man. You got me there. Thanks for that input. :smile:
 
  • #21
yourdadonapogostick
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PhysicsEnthusiast said:
It's all possible m8. Even Einstein said that all things are possible with imagination. We just need nanontechnology to be fully developed. Advanced Nanotechnology can basically transform any material into anything else and nanotechnology has the ability to reproduce and make limitless copies of that material.

You know how many particles there are in the volume of our entire solar system? There's more than enough building blocks to convert required for the Dyson Sphere. Diamond would the ideal converted material for the exterior shell of the entire Dyson sphere because it is dense and extremely durable. The inner shell would be composed of solar cells.
1)who cares what einstein said?
2)nano tech cannot and willnot ever be able to do that
3)even if it could, it would only work with carbon
4)diamonds would require even MORE mass than before. (take my equation, put in a thickness and put in the density of diamond)
 
  • #22
PhysicsEnthusiast
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yourdadonapogostick said:
1)who cares what einstein said?
2)nano tech cannot and willnot ever be able to do that
3)even if it could, it would only work with carbon
4)diamonds would require even MORE mass than before. (take my equation, put in a thickness and put in the density of diamond)


All your points ( #2, #3, #4 ) are good and I probably won't argue with that.

The first one however is your opinion but I don't think everyone can agree with you. EINSTEIN is the father of Special Relativity. Are you saying we should not care about Special Relativity? o_O Are you smarter than Einstein no? o_O :uhh: Wow, a forumster is actually smarter than Einstein, whoa! What are the odds lmao o_O :bugeye:
 
  • #23
yourdadonapogostick
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einstein saying something does not make it true...you are looking like an einstein fanboy
 
  • #24
PhysicsEnthusiast
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yourdadonapogostick said:
einstein saying something does not make it true...you are looking like an einstein fanboy

Ehhh that's bcos I am an Einstein fanboy. :rofl:

Einstein saying something does not make it true all the time... but you said "who cares what Einstein thinks". Does that mean you were implying that he is often wrong, since what he usually thinks is not worth caring for? o_O eh? :uhh:
 
  • #25
yourdadonapogostick
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what i mean is it is an opinion, not a fact and should be treated as an opinion.
 
  • #26
PhysicsEnthusiast
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yourdadonapogostick said:
what i mean is it is an opinion, not a fact and should be treated as an opinion.

Ok thanks for making that clear. :smile:
 
  • #27
SkepticJ
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PhysicsEnthusiast said:
Advanced Nanotechnology can basically transform any material into anything else and nanotechnology has the ability to reproduce and make limitless copies of that material.


No, nanotech can't transmutate an element into another element. So nanotech can only make things from the elements it has. Oxygen can't be turned into diamonds using nanotech. Carbon however could be. I don't want to sound condescending, but you really don't understand the nanotech idea beyond a media hype "understanding". To get some real, technical reading on nanotechnology, try reading www.foresight.org[/URL]
 
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  • #28
SkepticJ
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Suprastellar shells would be much like Dyson Shells, but without needing super strong(beyond anything that now exists) building materials to make.
The papers on supra shells are in the scientific papers section farther down on http://www.paulbirch.net/ web site.
 
  • #29
PhysicsEnthusiast
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SkepticJ said:
I don't want to sound condescending, but you really don't understand the nanotech idea beyond a media hype "understanding". To get some real, technical reading on nanotechnology, try reading www.foresight.org

Heh, don't worry..not condescending at all. I consider myself a learner and a non-expert anyways. But I seen that site and let me show you something I found in it (down below)

While nanotechnology has made great advances in the last two decades, it has yet to fulfill its ultimate potential. Foresight is dedicated to fostering nanotechnologies that can make a significant contribution to solving critical challenges which humanity faces— Foresight Nanotechnology Challenges. These challenges are:

Meeting global energy needs with clean solutions
Providing abundant clean water globally
Increasing the health and longevity of human life
Maximizing the productivity of agriculture
Making powerful information technology available everywhere
Enabling the development of space


My point is that how can we say that nanotechnology cannot be capable of something like building a Dyson sphere when we as a human race are only at the doorstep of nanotechnology. :tongue2:
 
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  • #30
Entropy
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I think we'd have more luck developing some type of zero-point generator to meet our power needs.
 
  • #31
SkepticJ
244
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PhysicsEnthusiast said:
My point is that how can we say that nanotechnology cannot be capable of something like building a Dyson sphere when we as a human race are only at the doorstep of nanotechnology. :tongue2:

I'm not saying it can't; I'm saying it will never transmute a chemical element into another kind of chemical element. Transmutation of elements by chemical means is impossible(You don't see a lot of alchemists with jobs at university labs doing their thing do you?) Nuclear means is another matter, but that's not nanotechnology. I suppose one could call that picotech. Lead has been turned into gold by nuclear means. The problem is it costs far, far, far more to do it than to just mine the stuff from the ground.
Something that might work, some far away someday from now, is an idea being talked about in the hard SF worldbuilding group I'm in. Picobots. They wouldn't even be made of atoms, but instead a very very dense and strong material called monopolium. We have the heavy math(done by an almost Dr. that's a member of the group) and scientific theories that it's based on. If those theories hold up then someday monopolium could be real. To give you a quick idea of how amazing a material it'd be:
1 cubic centimeter of the material would mass 2 metric tonnes
It would be about 2,000 times as strong as carbon nanotubes per weight, and without the compressional load weakness nanotubes have.
It'd have a melting temp. so high it could survive going inside a star.(I forget the exact temp. I'll have to ask)
 
  • #32
Danger
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Geez... as much as I hate to agree with Russ about anything ( :tongue: ), he's absolutely got this nailed. To start with, the OP is citing a journalist who by his own admission knows nothing of science. Good grief, man... he uses the term 'nano bacteria' in his introduction. If there'd ever been any other kind, our species wouldn't exist. I'm pretty sure that if there were bacteria the size of poodles, we never would have survived this long.
Nanotech is a wonderful field of endeavour, and holds immense promise for the future, but its primary purpose is to achieve things that demand a microscopic scale. First and foremost is in medical applications, wherein nanotech devices can be introduced into a living body to either measure things that now require expensive scanning techniques, or to replace or reinforce failing organs. A good example of a combination thereof would be an artificial pancrease that can measure blood glucose levels and use micro-pump infusion to introduce proper insulin supplies. Nanotech will never take over brute-force applications that are better handled by a bulldozer or dynamite.
And to Physicsenthusiast... Einstein was wrong an awful lot more often than he was right. That's what made him a good scientist; he stayed at it until he got it right, and learned from his mistakes. Everybody screws things up on a grand scale with some disturbing frequency. Those who treat it as a learning experience rather than a failure are likely to come up with something great. The rest just quit. Just look at how many failures Edison had with his light bulb until he found the right filament material.
 
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  • #33
Mk
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Danger said:
Einstein was wrong an awful lot more often than he was right.
Danger said:
Everybody screws things up on a grand scale with some disturbing frequency.
Danger said:
Those who treat it as a learning experience rather than a failure are likely to come up with something great.
Yay! I'm like Einstein!
 
  • #34
Danger
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Mk said:
Yay! I'm like Einstein!
Hey, Mk! Long time, friend. And yeah... a sense of humour definitely helps. :biggrin:
 
  • #35
PhysicsEnthusiast
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russ_watters said:
Science is like a building. One floor is built on top of the previous. It is extremely rare that more than a small fraction of the floors are knocked down to be replaced by new floors. Ie, no amount of future scientific investigation is going to change our understanding of f=ma, for example. And we never, ever knock the whole thing down and start from scratch.
Whoops, I actually agreed with you on this in page 2 of this thread. :bugeye: Now I got to change my mind. :rofl: Why you ask? well...You ever hear of the Uncertainty Principle theorized by Professor Werner Heisenberg? Ever hear his famous statement in which Einstein himself was forced to concede to, thus prompting Einstein to spend his later years trying to formulate a Unified Theory (which of course failed and in turn, inspired a newer generation of physicists to pursue the String-Theory, M-Theory, and Super-Symmetry theory)? :rolleyes:

Heiseinberg's famous statement was:"The more precisely the POSITION is determined, the less precisely the MOMENTUM is known". He was talking about the unobservable orbits of an electron around an atom. That each "orbit" was dependent on the perception of each individual viewer. Heh, even Einstein called this non-sense although later on, was inspired by it -- why he felt the need to pursue a Unified Theory in the first place.

So whatever you say, is also subject to the uncertainty principle (in theory of course). You see "Physics" is all based on theories (even to this day), and that's why we must never jump to conclusions by saying Dyson spheres can never be built. It's always wise to keep an open mind -- because the greatest physicists of our "time" always do. :tongue2:
 
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