3. DYSON SWARMS
Dyson swarms solve the problems that arise due to Dyson spheres. In a Dyson swarm, instead of a sphere of solar panels around the star, solar panels are launched into orbit around the sun, panels which use a series of reflective mirrors in order to reflect the energy captured to resource ships or planet Earth. Due to this, sunlight still reaches the Earth, but although in slightly smaller quantities and damage to one panel doesn’t cause the system to crash. Surprisingly, the laws of physics make this possible. However, Dyson swarms require a humongous amount of resources, in order to be productive, each ‘swarm’ or panel needs to be a kilometer square in area, and for extraction of industrial quantities of energy, you would need at least forty panels, that makes forty square kilometers, not to mention the resources required for launching them into orbit and building spaceships to observe them. In the end, the amount of iron would be colossal and if extracted from the earth, could destabilize the crust and rid it of iron so thus, the iron required for the swarm can’t be extracted from the Earth. Then where? The answer is the planet Mercury, which, if completely mined and exterminated, will be able to give enough iron for the launching of 10 panels. However, the energy required to get to Mercury, mine the planet’s crust, mine the planet’s mantle, mine its core and leave nothing would be colossal too, it would take more than 20 years. So, if we’re patient enough and have 10 panels around the sun after 20 years, it will be enough to power the planet but not to boost galactic observation and research. Then, the energy gained by the swarm could be used to cannibalize Venus, no problem, right? If we continue this process, and mine and ‘cannibalize’ Mercury, Venus, Mars and some asteroids, we should have around 50 panels in the swarm, enough to acquire almost the entire energy of the sun and become a type 2 civilization.
2. DYSON SPHERES
Although mankind is still far away from becoming a type 2 civilization on the kardashev scale, comprehending and visualizing structures that challenge the boundaries of physics may become an integral part of the 21st century. Dyson spheres are a system of spherical solar panels built around the host star of a civilization (in our case, the sun). This is done in order to utilize all the energy of your host star, and in order to become a type 2 civilization. However, a number of problems arise with Dyson spheres, one such problem is the sunlight which reaches Earth. In practicality, sunlight wouldn’t penetrate the sphere and there would be know output of light energy. Also, if we do indeed build a Dyson sphere around the sun, the gravitational pull on the inwards of the sun will be so strong that even a slight impact or bump into the exterior of the sphere will cause it to collapse inwards, getting melted by extreme temperatures near the surface of the sun and be destroyed.
1. ESCAPE VELOCITY
Quite ironically, the first thing needed to get off Earth is a velocity higher than the escape velocity of our planet, which is 25,000 m/s. What is escape velocity, it is the speed, or rather, velocity required to escape the gravitational pull of our planet. Interesting fact: Black holes do not let light go out because their escape velocity is higher than c, the speed of light.