Nano-scale Dyson Sphere

Karthik Nadig

I was watching Season 2 of The Big Bang Theory: The Hofstadter Isotope episode; Howard Wolowitz mentioned about the Drake Equation and it’s plausible application to predicting the possibility of getting laid, and then there was something about hitting it and quitting it.  So, I looked up Drake Equation on Wikipedia, and as usual one thing led to the other and finally reached the Dyson Sphere.

I am not going to explain what Dyson Sphere is, you probably would have already clicked the link, and now no longer coherent about where you were on this page. Most depictions of Dyson Sphere are of shell kind. This is the least plausible type, cause to construct a 3m thick sphere with inner radius of 1AU (or 149.60×109m) requires about 8.4×1023m3 of material. Our entire planet has just 1.09×1021m3 of material, so we’ll need 772 more earth sized planets to build such a structure. I have mentioned the parameters in volumes cause it’ll probably be difficult to find any matter in such enormous quantities within our solar system, unless we decide to use all the planets, asteroids or anything that moves around the sun as a source of material.

The original design was to encompass a star swarms of solar power satellites to capture most or all of its energy. Although fictional world says it’s possible to build a solid sphere, it’s highly unlikely. But it is possible to extract portion of the sun energy if we could build nano-scale satellites to absorb and store the sun’s energy in portable form. This is some what analogous to insect colonies amassing food in huge quantities.

Again this would be possible if the technology advances enough to protect any electronic instrument, in space,  from an astounding number of solar phenomenon which can put and end to the project even before it begins. At least the plausibility of this idea is higher than that of building a solid sphere.

If you actually learnt something from this; it was purely accidental. If you were really looking for schematics of such a project and google led you to this page; sorry, I had to write this blog other wise my head would explode.


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