From the stars to the boundless, “Dyson Ball Project” science fiction concept guide

“Dyson Ball Project” is a hard science fiction work with a relatively strong theoretical basis for realistic science. There are many concepts that also exist in reality or are often quoted in various science fiction works.

There may be many players who don’t know the meaning of the various science fiction or scientific terms involved in the game. Here are some materials for further reading. If you are interested, after reading the information here, you can also consult relevant knowledge yourself to enrich your knowledge, at least as a conversation resource.

Dyson Ball

If you are not a sci-fi fan, for a name like “Dyson Ball”, I am afraid that you may first imagine some kind of ball sports. Some people may even think that this is related to a certain brand. In fact, in science fiction works, the concept of “Dyson Ball” has been popular for decades.

KIC 8462852 The controversial light curve

In recent years, the concept of “Dyson Sphere” is the closest to the public’s vision. It should be a paper published in the Monthly Bulletin of the Royal Astronomical Society in September 2015. The article mentioned the star in the constellation Cygnus, about 1480 light years from the earth. KIC 8462852 has unexplainable luminosity fluctuations. As a result, someone put forward a hypothesis, assuming that a highly developed civilization on this star is building Dyson spheres. The huge Dyson sphere structure blocks the star’s light and causes periodic changes in luminosity.

For a time, there were overwhelming news about aliens and Dyson balls, and so on, and many people who had no idea about it had a good understanding of the concept of “Dyson balls”.

Simply put, the Dyson sphere is a giant structure that tries to capture all the energy of the entire star.

Take a look at our earth. Because of the distance from the sun and its small size, only about one part of the energy radiated from the sun can reach the earth. However, it is just such a little energy that drives the wind, frost, rain, and snow of the entire planet, and maintains the global ecosystem. We are covered by liquid water oceans. You can see this article in front of the screen, all relying on the sun to send it. Of this 2.2 billionth of energy.

So, what about the other parts of the energy? Is it just being wasted? The sun radiates light and heat all the time, and most of them are thrown into the boundless universe. If technology develops further, is it possible to use this energy?

Thus, the idea of ​​Dyson Ball appeared. American physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson published a paper in “Science” in 1959, and proposed the concept of Dyson sphere for the first time. In his imagination, this giant structure is composed of a large number of loose solar collectors and satellites orbiting the sun. Many solar collectors orbiting on different orbits collect the scattered energy of the sun, so as to gradually realize the full utilization of solar energy.

Imaginary Dyson cloud

Further ideas appear more in sci-fi works. If we build a rigid shell to truly envelop the sun, people can also build buildings inside the shell and live in it. This will be a huge world. When the radius of this shell is an astronomical unit-that is, the average distance between the sun and the earth. The heat received by the inner surface of the shell is similar to that of the current earth, so that people get an extremely large habitable space.

However, this idea is too bizarre even as a science fiction, and there is no imaginable material that can achieve the structural strength required by the shell, and the gravitational relationship between the shell and the sun will also be in an unstable state. There is no real possibility of realization.

The Dyson shell in “Dyson Ball Project” is closer to the Dyson bubble structure in between. That is to build a solar sail that can offset the influence of gravity with light pressure, and fix the position of the solar sail to form a permanent shell to a certain extent.

However, the Dyson shell in the game still needs to be rotated to counter the effect of gravity, and to build the Dyson shell at a 90° position, it needs to repeatedly research technology to achieve. This Dyson ball can be used to generate electricity, and it can also transmit collected photons back. However, it does not allow people to live in it, and there is no collision volume.

Kardashov civilization index

In the game setting, the player-or Icarus-is sent to the new star area to build the main brain of the Dyson sphere, a huge empire that is about to step into the third level of Kardashov civilization. This card…what does the index mean?

Thinking: Ignore the details and consider only from a macro perspective. What defines the degree of development of a civilization? Is it the splendor of humanities and culture? Is it the prosperity of commercial trade? Or is it the grandeur of industrial development? No, these are all details. If it is a completely different civilization, for example, a group of collectively conscious ants with a higher IQ develops a civilization, it is difficult for them to describe with these characteristics. However, we can always find something that can describe various civilizations, and that is energy.

Hogg celestial body, if this is the creation of civilization…

The Russian astrophysicist Nikolai Semenovich Kardashov proposed a method for roughly classifying the civilizations of the universe, the Kardashov civilization index.

Among them, the first-level civilization of Kardashov can fully utilize all the energy of a planet to produce, the second-level civilization can fully use all the energy of a star to produce, and the third-level civilization can turn all the energy of an entire galaxy into itself. use. If expressed by a slightly more accurate number, then the first level civilization can output about 10 to the 16th power of energy power, the second level civilization corresponds to 10 to the 26th power of watts, and the third level civilization is 10 to 36 times. Square tile.

Note that even estimates of orders of magnitude have certain deviations. This is actually a very rough classification of civilization levels. According to this definition, the current human civilization is approximately at level 0.7. And a civilization that built a Dyson sphere on its parent star can be called a second-level civilization. As for the players who are committed to enveloping the entire star area in the “Dyson Sphere”, they are obviously striding to the third-level civilization. Up.

Parker Solar Probe

In fact, from the perspective of the definition of Dyson Cloud, humans are now making “devices that orbit the sun and obtain its electricity.” Not to mention those satellites that orbit the planets but use solar energy. At present, humans have also manufactured and launched a probe with the goal of detecting the sun-the “Parker”.

Parker Solar Probe under test

Of course, to forcibly imagine the Parker as part of the Dyson Cloud in the future is indeed too far-fetched, but from the design of this detector, we can also get a glimpse of the difficulties that may be faced in building the Dyson sphere in reality.

Because the perihelion will enter the outer corona of the sun, Parker needs to face a radiation intensity of about 650kW/m?. Don’t think that such radiation intensity means more efficient power generation. In fact, Parker must try to resist such high-intensity radiation to avoid damage to internal equipment due to overheating.

On the side facing the sun, Parker has a shield made of reinforced carbon composite material and coated with pure white alumina to resist the sun’s rays. When the solar panel is working near the perihelion, it needs to be equipped with a large amount of liquid for active cooling, and very carefully control the area of ​​the solar panel that can be directly irradiated by the sun to avoid overloading the cooling system.

Although the temperature in the outer space is extremely low, the difficult thing for spacecraft is to solve the heat dissipation problem. Although the sunlight can bring energy, if the heat dissipation cannot be solved, the spacecraft will soon become a mass of scrap iron. Space is a vacuum environment. The common conduction and convection heat dissipation we have on the earth cannot be realized. The heat of spacecraft can only be dissipated through thermal radiation. Therefore, it is not surprising that a large number of structures are used in the design of anti-heat to be close to the spacecraft that takes the chestnut from the sun.

The solar sail and Dyson shell components of “Dyson Ball Project” seem to have not considered this issue at all. Considering that this is only a science fiction game and not popular science software, it is normal.

Speed ​​engine

Compared with the concept of Dyson Ball, which is at least a little concerned about real science when it comes to theoretical derivation, the warp flying ability used to shuttle between different star systems in “Dyson Ball Project” is a more fanciful science fiction term.

Speed ​​engine performance in the game

Specifically, the warp engine is a hypothetical way to break through the theory of relativity that an object with a static mass cannot accelerate to the speed of light in a limited step. In the time and space of the Akubi metric proposed by the physicist Miguel Akubi, the space behind the spacecraft is stretched and the space in front is compressed by the means of twisting the space, thus making the spacecraft Sail beyond the speed of light.

In this case, because space itself is distorted, the spacecraft itself can be said to be stagnated in a flat space-time bubble and carried to a far distance. However, at present, there is no feasible theory and practical technology to provide such a space distortion method, and various discussions on the principle of the speed engine are also concentrated in the setting of science fiction works.

In the “Dyson Ball Project”, the warp flight seems to just increase the speed of 12.5AU/s for Icarus, and then add some screen effects, without further expanding the settings.

Graphical illustration of warp bubble

Casimir effect

Players need to use an item called “Casimir Crystal” when making a “plane filter”. I have not found a scientific concept that accurately corresponds to this crystal. There is a concept called “Casimir effect” in reality, but it does not need such a strange crystal to make. It only requires two metal plates very close together.

In quantum field theory, even a vacuum without any particles is actually an ocean full of quantum fluctuations. Each fundamental field is quantized in space and described as a quantum harmonic oscillator at each point.

In general vacuum, due to the existence of these harmonic oscillators in pairs, their spin, polarization, energy, etc. all cancel each other out, so from outside observations, there is a zero vacuum. However, even if there is no quantum harmonic oscillator excited as elementary particles, there is a minimum energy that is not zero, which is called the vacuum zero point energy.

Casimir effect

However, between two very close metal plates, the value of energy that these quantum resonators can obtain is limited, resulting in a decrease in the value of the vacuum zero point energy between the plates. However, if the distance between the metal plates is to be expanded and the vacuum zero point energy value is expanded, it obviously requires external energy input to achieve this, which is manifested as a gravitational force between the metal plates. This is the Casimir effect.

Stellar family

In the “Dyson Sphere Project”, we can see that the system has generated many different types of stars, what type A, type B, type G… Various stars have different colors and luminosities. At the same time, a small number of neutron stars and black holes will be generated. This setting is quite close to the real world.

Herrotium of stars

The formation of a star comes from the unstable gravity inside the molecular cloud in the universe. When the thermal expansion pressure of the molecular cloud cannot withstand the influence of its own gravity, the molecular cloud gradually collapses. After tens of millions of years of evolution, the molecular cloud’s Most of the mass will collapse into a small space, thus forming stars. Enter the main sequence phase of the star.

Depending on the mass, the luminosity and lifespan of stars are also different. Generally, the larger the star, the sooner the core hydrogen will be exhausted and the next stage will be entered. Therefore, although stars with smaller masses have lower luminosity, they tend to have longer lifetimes. Some cooler red dwarfs have expected lifetimes much longer than the current lifetime of the universe.

The largest main sequence stars are class O stars, followed by class B, class A, class F, class G, class K, and class M. Our sun is a G-class yellow dwarf.

Since the most ubiquitous interstellar material is hydrogen, the main sequence stars basically use hydrogen to fuse into helium as the energy source for their glow and heat. As this fusion reaction continues, more and more helium will gradually accumulate in the star, resulting in a decrease in the efficiency of hydrogen fusion. Finally, when a certain critical point is crossed, the fusion reaction in the star core no longer occurs, causing the gravitational force originally resisted by the fusion reaction to play a role, and the outer matter of the star begins to collapse.

But in this process, the hydrogen of these surrounding substances also participates in the fusion reaction, so the speed of hydrogen fusion increases greatly, and the gas expands outward and becomes a red giant. However, for stars with a mass of less than 0.4 solar mass, the process of depleting hydrogen is too long, and no instances of extinction have been observed so far.

For a massive star with more than 9 times the mass of the sun, the core collapse process will be too violent to become a relatively stable red giant star, but quickly complete the process of helium fusion, carbon fusion, neon fusion, oxygen fusion, and silicon fusion. , Resulting in a very violent supernova explosion. And finally left a neutron star or even a black hole in the inner core. Some stars with a mass greater than the sun will quietly enter the helium fusion phase at the end of their life, but cannot trigger carbon fusion and become a white dwarf.

The black hole scene depicted in “Dyson Ball Project”

The black hole in the game has a very beautiful picture. It accurately presents the shape of the black hole’s accretion disk and the distortion of the outside light when it approaches the black hole. But it does not show the asymmetry of the luminosity of the accretion disk caused by the distortion of light by the black hole.

In addition, in reality, there is a high probability that a massive star will be accompanied by another star of smaller mass to form a binary star system. It is estimated that for gameplay considerations, the “Dyson Ball Project” does not have any double or three-star galaxies.

Graphene and carbon nanotubes

The materials used in the “Dyson Ball Project” to make solar sails, except for a photon collector like magic, the other is graphene.

Graphene is actually a very popular field of scientific research at present. It has many excellent physical properties: almost completely transparent, ultra-high thermal conductivity and ultra-low resistivity, and because it is actually a single layer of graphite, it is made of 2D honeycomb If the plane structure composed of carbon atoms in the crystal lattice solves the difficulty of preparation, it will be highly abundant in nature.

There are many researches on the potential applications of graphene, including the research as a light-pressure aircraft. In a research report published in June 2015, the team of Chen Yongsheng from Nankai University in China discovered that the macroscopic graphene material is driven by light. It is expected that solar sails can be prepared based on this principle.

Magic angle graphene schematic

In addition, “Magic Angle Graphene”, which is expected to achieve high-temperature superconductivity, has also been frequently reported recently because of the genius Cao Yuan. Specifically, two layers of graphene are overlapped at an angle of about 1.1°, and superconductivity at 1.7K is achieved by adjusting the carrier density.

In addition, there are such things as the manufacture of integrated circuits, the monitoring of specific molecules, etc. Graphene has a very broad research and development prospect in reality.

Carbon nanotube

And by rolling graphene into a cylinder, it can be made into carbon nanotubes, which is another star-like cutting-edge material. Since each carbon-carbon bond on the tube is an SP2 hybrid orbital, the modulus and strength of the carbon nanotubes are both high. Due to the one-dimensional properties of carbon nanotubes, they can be used as molds to make ultra-fine one-dimensional materials, or to make composite materials. There are also touch screens made after applying super-aligned carbon nanotube technology, which also allows the manufacture of touch screens to bypass rare metal minerals.

Breit-Wheeler process

When the “Dyson Ball Project” reaches the final stage, players will unlock a technology that converts photons into antimatter and hydrogen. In reality, similar reactions do exist. In 1934, Breit and Wheeler published a paper mentioning the possibility of high-energy photon interactions to produce positive and negative particle pairs. This is the inverse process of the Dirac process in which positive and negative particles evolve each other.

Breit_Wheeler process

Because the photon cross section is really too small and the energy required for the reaction is too high, it was not until 2014 that experiments finally confirmed the existence of this reaction. This proves that the energy of photons can indeed be transformed into elementary particles with rest mass.

Wind and solar power in reality

In the “Dyson Ball Project”, the first technology the player clicks can unlock the wind turbine – as long as it is a planet with an atmosphere, the wind turbine can provide a steady flow of electricity, and it has its own power supply coverage. Easy to use, players often rely on the use of wind turbines for power supply until late in the game.

Solar power generation is a little more complicated. It can only generate electricity during the day and cannot work at night. And if it is on the permanent day surface where the tides are locked, solar energy can be very useful. In fact, this is not the same thing as these two future star energy sources in reality.

Offshore wind farm

I don’t even need to specifically point this out. Everyone knows the common sense that wind and solar energy are unstable. The wind is always big and small, and solar energy is fine. As long as a cloud floats in the sky, the solar farm can only stop cooking.

In practical applications, power sources with unstable output, such as wind and solar, need to be coordinated with thermal power generation that can freely adjust the output to achieve the stability of the total power generation. In addition, the commonly used phase modulation system for stabilizing the output voltage of wind turbines will bring severely fluctuating reactive power input to the grid, leading to serious power quality problems. The inverter device of photovoltaic power generation will introduce a large number of harmonics, which also threatens the safety of grid operation.

Although the use of wind and solar power from renewable energies is indeed the future energy utilization direction, as far as the current level of technology is concerned, it is still quite unrealistic to abandon thermal power generation and switch to these two renewable energy sources.

Gravitational lens

In “Dyson Sphere Project”, players can use gravitational lenses to enhance the efficiency of microwave receivers. Although this seems to have nothing to do with the gravitational lens in reality, this term can still be broken.

The first is about the lens. You can often see the natural lens phenomenon in life. The simplest, a transparent glass, filled with water, which forms a convex lens. The convex lens can converge the incident light from one side to a point on the other side. This convergence point is called the focal point. If the observer is between the focal point and the lens, the image on the other side will be magnified. If the observer is behind the focal point, the upside-down image will be seen.

Gravitational lens

The principle of a gravitational lens is similar to that of a lens. Universal gravitation will have an impact on the propagation of light. Massive stars will produce obvious gravitational lensing, that is, light rays coming from a distance will be distorted when passing through the gravitational field around the star and converge at a focal point. Considering that ordinary lenses can be used to make magnifying glasses, telescopes, etc. A gravitational lens composed of a huge gravitational field as large as the sun may be used to magnify the image of distant stars, so as to more accurately observe distant galaxies.

The phenomenon of gravitational lensing can also be used to discover non-luminous black holes, because their powerful gravitational lensing will make the galaxies behind them appear multiple images. The phenomenon of weak gravitational lensing is also used to discover a large number of dark matter halos enriched in mass.

At present, the research on setting up a deep space telescope through the solar gravitational lens is no longer science fiction, but reality. It’s just that the focal point of the solar gravitational lens is about 548.7 astronomical units away from the sun. The existing aerospace technology is far from being able to deploy a telescope that can communicate with the earth at this location. And how to shield the sunlight, and the algorithm to restore the accurate image of the observed starlight based on the lens image, etc., are still to be studied.


Planet Hunters X. KIC 8462852 – Where’s the Flux?
Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation
Detectability of Extraterrestrial Technological Activities
The warp drive: hyper-fast travel within general relativity
What is the Casimir Effect?
Solar Lensing Telescope: NASA Scientists Propose New Technique to Directly Image Surface of Distant Exoplanets
NASA Space Sience Data Coordianted Archive
Collision of Two Light Quanta

Author: Fallen do not kill
Source: VGtime


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