String Theory and Colonizing the Multiverse

String Theory and Colonizing the Multiverse

In this article, we’ll talk in laymen terms about quantum theory and general relativity and, specifically, how the two are related. We shall begin by discussing the well-known fact that these two theories—which describe how the universe works on the scale of the very small (quantum theory) and the very large (general relativity)—oftentimes contradict one another and they usually contradict each other on the scale of the very small (which is where general relativity breaks down and quantum mechanics gives us the correct picture). Now, something that is a little less well-known is that quantum theory and general relativity seem to, in some strange sense, make similar predictions about how nature is on vast size scales. Both theories predict that there are other universes and extra spatial dimensions. We shall close our discussion in this article by answering a question that we posed at the end of the article, Orbital Rings and Planet Building.

Spaceship Comets and Highways Through Space

Spaceship Comets and Highways Through Space

In this article, we’ll look at various different ways we could travel to the stars. We’ll first discuss how very small, but very fast probes could be accelerated to relativistic speeds using lasers (or masers); such probes could reach the nearest stars within the span of a human lifetime. This discussion will also lead us to the notion of an “interstellar highway” which we’ll discuss in detail. We conclude by discussing how asteroids and comets could also be used as spaceships to reach the stars.

Preliminary Interstellar Missions: Prelude to the Stars

Preliminary Interstellar Missions: Prelude to the Stars

In this article, we discuss preliminary interstellar missions which will serve as preludes to missions involving sending spacecraft to the stars. We primarily discuss using the Sun as a gravitational lens—a kind of “cosmic telescope”—to search for exoplanets which likely harbor life as well as those which likely do not.

Leaving the Solar System: Introduction to the Outward Bound Series

Leaving the Solar System: Introduction to the Outward Bound Series

This article is essentially a “teaser” of what we have in store for upcoming articles. Basically, I summarize ideas that will be discussed in tremendous detail in subsequent articles. These ideas are, primarily, interplanetary travel, interstellar travel, and intergalactic travel and how megastructures like orbital rings and star lifters (and a few others) will enable such voyages. We also give a very brief “teaser” on the redesign of the social and economic systems which underlie all industrial and social protocol.

Orbital Rings and Planet Building: Prelude to Colonizing the Solar System

Orbital Rings and Planet Building: Prelude to Colonizing the Solar System

An orbital ring connected to the Earth by space elevators would reduce the cost of going to space to an amount comparable to an airplane ticket. This would cause a boom in the space tourism industry and eventually millions and even billions of people and tons of cargo will be moving from the Earth’s surface to space annually, and vise versa. This would necessitate an expansion in our space-based infrastructure to include space-based solar panels, a lunar mass driver, the routine mining of asteroids, and especially enormous space habitats (for all those billions of people to live in) such as the Standford Torus, the Bernal Sphere, or the O’Neil Cylinder. Orbital rings also allow you to build artificial planets and Dyson spheres, which would allow us to completely colonize the solar system. They would also allow us to build a Birch planet, a single planet with a surface area which exceeds the total surface area of all the planets in the Milky Way galaxy.

The Diversity of Exoplanets in the Galaxy

The Diversity of Exoplanets in the Galaxy

In this lesson, we’ll give a brief catalog of the various different classes of planets in the universe. We'll discuss Pulsar planets, hot Jupiters, Super Earths, ice and water worlds, archipelago worlds, diamond worlds, and rogue planets. Most of the planets we’ll be discussing were discovered using the Kepler Space Telescope and the transit method. We once believed that the formation of planets was rare and that there probably weren’t many planets beyond our solar system. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

Drake's Equation and Searching for Life in the Milky Way

Drake's Equation and Searching for Life in the Milky Way

In this lesson, we’ll discuss the prospect of life in the Milky Way galaxy beyond the Earth. We'll begin by discussing the speculations made in a paper written by Carl Sagan about the possibility of life in Jupiter's atmosphere. From there, we shall derive a formula which describes the habitable zone of a star. Using this formula and data obtained by the Kepler Space Telescope, we can estimate the total number of "Earth-like" planets in the Milky Way. From there, we discuss the fraction of those planets on which simple and intelligent life evolve; then we'll discuss the fraction of those planets on which advanced communicating civilizations evolve and what fraction of those civilizations are communicating right now.