The core of industrial development is energy, and the key to the rapid progress of human science and technology is also energy. Energy is the cornerstone of the development of human science and technology civilization. Without it, all technology can only be on paper and cannot be used in practical applications.
For hundreds of years, the nature of energy has not changed much. It is still the escalating application of fossil energy. If we are only developing on the earth, fossil energy can fully satisfy us, but as human beings step out of the earth and begin to explore the universe, we find that fossil energy is increasingly insufficient.
The existing energy of mankind is not enough to support us to leave the earth too far, let alone explore the vast universe. The fastest human exploration spacecraft is Voyager 1, with a speed of 17 kilometers per second. After more than 40 years of flying at such a fast speed, it is now only more than 210 kilometers away from us. This distance is only out of the heliosphere, not out of the solar system.
At this speed, it will take tens of thousands of years for Voyager 1 to fly out of the solar system. This speed can be said to be as slow as a tortoise speed. At this speed, it is impossible for us to explore other galaxies. Therefore, scientists have been seeking energy breakthroughs. Only when energy breakthroughs are achieved can humans go further and explore more distant ones. The starry sky, the future of mankind will be more beautiful.
At present, the controllable nuclear fusion that scientists have been studying and exploring is the new energy to replace fossil energy in the next step. So when humans have mastered controllable nuclear fusion, can we freely walk out of the solar system and explore nearby galaxies? I am afraid there is a certain degree of difficulty.
Einstein’s theory of relativity tells us that the speed of a mass object can only approach the speed of light infinitely, even the speed of photons is only the speed of light. The limit theory of the speed of light makes many people feel desperate, thinking that human beings will never be able to travel across the Milky Way or even across the galaxy. universe.
But while Einstein’s theory of relativity closed one window for us, it also opened another window for us. General relativity puts forward the theory of space-time distortion. The existence of space-time distortion makes it possible to exceed the speed of light. At present, scientists believe that there are two main methods that can achieve the speed of light. One is to shuttle through wormholes, and the other is to apply curvature engines.
Whether it is a wormhole shuttle or a curvature engine, it is an application of space-time distortion, which requires distortion to break space. Although the phenomenon of space-time distortion exists, the distortion amplitude is very small under normal circumstances, and to realize the super-light speed flight of the spacecraft, a larger space distortion is required. But to distort space greatly, more powerful energy is needed, and this energy is probably impossible to achieve by nuclear fusion.
So scientists thought of an energy even more powerful than nuclear fusion, which is antimatter. Antimatter is an anti-state of normal matter. It is similar to a particle of matter, a particle of matter with opposite electricity or spin and force. Every elementary particle has its corresponding antiparticle. When elementary particles and their antiparticles meet, they will annihilate at the same time and release 100% of their powerful energy.
Antimatter was only a particle under the conjecture of scientists in the earliest days. By the 1960s, scientists had found the antiparticles of various elementary particles through accelerators. Since then, there is no doubt about the existence of antimatter. And in 997, scientists announced the discovery of the “Gyrocentric Antimatter Fountain”, which made scientists’ enthusiasm for searching for antimatter intensified again.
The energy released after annihilation of one gram of antimatter is about 42,800 tons of TNT equivalent, which is almost equal to the “little boy” nuclear bomb of the year, and the energy released by 500 grams of antimatter can be equal to the most powerful hydrogen bomb of mankind. Such a powerful energy source is exactly what mankind needs to explore the universe. With this powerful energy source, the speed of our spacecraft can be qualitatively increased, at least to achieve sub-light speed flight.
If we master the technology of the curvature engine in the future, we will also need the powerful energy of antimatter if we want to distort the space. It is this kind of energy that is very important to the future of mankind, so scientists have been actively researching and exploring it, hoping to produce more antimatter. It is a pity that with the current technological strength of mankind, although we can produce some antimatter particles, they will soon be annihilated and cannot be truly preserved.
Moreover, the current cost of producing antimatter is also very high. According to data released by scientists, the production of one hundred billionth of a gram of antimatter requires nearly 6 billion U.S. dollars. This price is unbearable, and human beings must apply a large amount of antimatter to the application of antimatter, a powerful energy source. Only by mastering the method of cheap production of antimatter can the application of antimatter truly become a reality.
In addition to making antimatter cheaply, there are also great technical difficulties in storing antimatter, which we need to constantly overcome. For mankind, the application of antimatter technology is still very far away. The next step is to achieve controllable nuclear fusion as soon as possible. It is a transitional stage between fossil energy and antimatter energy.
Nuclear fusion energy allows us to easily walk out of the earth and freely explore the solar system. According to scientists’ classification standards for the cosmic civilization, human civilization at this time will be upgraded to a first-class civilization. Once we have mastered antimatter energy, we can easily walk out of the solar system and explore the starry sky outside the system. At this time, mankind will become an interstellar civilization, officially opening the road to hegemony in the universe.
In addition to providing powerful power to the spacecraft, antimatter can also be used to create powerful antimatter weapons. We must know that once human beings become an interstellar civilization and go to the interstellar, they will inevitably come into contact with other alien civilizations. Under the law of the dark forest, it may be difficult to maintain true peace between cosmic civilizations.
Once humans are in conflict and war with alien civilizations, weapons are the basis for their use. Anti-matter weapons are far more powerful than nuclear fusion weapons. With them, humanity’s interstellar journey can be safer.