Energy is the foundation of the development of a civilization, especially when human civilization embarks on the path of technological development, it will require a large amount of energy supply. Fortunately, the earth is very lucky. It is a planet of life rich in resources. You must know that most of the matter in the universe is hydrogen, which accounts for 75% of the entire universe.
We all know that there are 118 elements on the periodic table, of which 94 are elements that exist in nature. These elements are found on the earth. It is important to know that except for hydrogen and helium, other elements in the universe are not easy to come from. The star is a hydrogen conversion factory. The hydrogen element is converted into helium element through nuclear fusion in the center, and the helium element is converted into other elements through helium fusion.
Only when the stellar nuclear fusion transforms into iron is stopped, and a large number of elements heavier than iron need more extreme conditions to form. Generally speaking, the collision and merger of neutron stars can form the supernova at the end of massive stars. A more extreme high temperature and high pressure environment will produce a small amount of other heavy elements.
Therefore, the content of various heavy elements in the universe is relatively small, and the earth is fortunate to be able to collect these elements, it is really rare. This is mainly related to the formation of the solar system. 5 billion years ago, the original solar nebula was hit by a supernova explosion from a dying star. Due to the close distance, the heavy elements produced by the supernova came to the solar nebula and participated in it. The formation of the solar system.
Just like this, heavy elements such as gold appeared on the earth, and after entering the age of science and technology, mankind also relied on these rich resources to achieve rapid development of science and technology. It only took hundreds of years to achieve current achievements. .
Relying on abundant resources, human beings have turned scientific theories into practical applications, realized science and technology one by one, and stepped out of the earth to explore the universe. When human beings walked out of the earth, we all knew how vast the universe was, and the earth was not even a small dust in front of the universe. At this time, the dream of mankind is to be able to walk all corners of the universe.
But to realize such a desire is far more difficult than we think. To get out of the solar system and explore other galaxies, then you need to have the ability to navigate between stars. However, interstellar navigation requires speed. This speed is not the speed of sound or supersonic in the earth age, but the sub-light speed, super-light speed, etc. applicable to the space age.
If we want to achieve interstellar navigation, the slowest speed must reach sub-light speed, otherwise we will not be able to go out even the small solar system, let alone explore the universe. To realize interstellar navigation, energy is naturally inseparable. Although there are abundant resources on the earth, it is impossible for these traditional chemical resources to increase the speed of the spacecraft to subluminal speed.
The potential of fossil energy is limited. It is already very good for us to get rid of the shackles of the earth’s gravity. To get rid of the shackles of the solar system’s gravity, a more powerful energy source is needed. So what will this energy be? Someone might say that nuclear fusion can allow us to achieve preliminary interstellar voyages, but is this really the case?
Friends who have watched “The Wandering Earth” know that in this film, human technology has achieved cold nuclear fusion. In order to get out of the solar system, the earth has installed tens of thousands of planetary engines, and the energy used is nuclear fusion. But even so, it can’t bring higher speed to the earth, and it takes multiple orbital accelerations to barely make the speed reach one thousandth of the speed of light.
It can be seen that nuclear fusion cannot bring our spacecraft to real sub-light speeds. Relying on nuclear fusion may allow humans to explore the solar system freely, but it is far from enough to explore the outer space, and more powerful energy is needed. So what is a more powerful energy source than nuclear fusion? Scientists thought of antimatter.
Antimatter believes that many of my friends have also heard of it. This is a real substance, an anti-state of normal matter. Both positrons and negative protons are antiparticles. Compared with the so-called electrons and protons, they have the same electric quantity but opposite electric properties.
The concept of antimatter was first proposed by the British physicist Paul Dirac. He predicted in 1928 that every particle should have an opposite antiparticle. By 1995, CERN scientists had produced the world’s first antimatter—antihydrogen atoms in the laboratory. In 1996, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in the United States successfully produced 7 anti-hydrogen atoms.
Since antimatter exists, matter can form celestial bodies and galaxies. Will there be space or galaxies made up of antimatter in the universe? In April 1997, American astronomers announced that they used gamma-ray detection satellites to find that there was an antimatter source that continuously ejected antimatter about 3,500 light years above the Milky Way. The antimatter ejected formed an “antimatter” that was as high as 2940 light-years away. fountain”.
Therefore, scientists believe that there should be equal amounts of matter and antimatter in the universe, and there may be a large-scale anti-galaxy area 3,000 light years away. In anti-galaxies, there is a large amount of antimatter. When the positive and negative matter meet, the two sides will annihilate each other and cancel each other, explode and produce huge energy, this energy level is very powerful.
According to the research of scientists, the energy released by 500 grams of antimatter exceeds that of the most powerful hydrogen bomb on earth today, which is the “super energy” needed by humans in the future. This kind of energy is hopeful for us to achieve interstellar navigation. Scientists believe that rockets using antimatter as fuel can achieve 70% of the speed of light. At this speed close to the speed of light, it is very easy to get out of the solar system, and you can also explore nearby galaxies within a hundred light-years. , Allowing mankind to initially realize interstellar exploration.
Of course, sub-light speed does not allow us to travel across the universe. Even in the Milky Way, if we want to realize free exploration, we need to exceed the speed of light. To achieve super-light speed flight, it is impossible to rely solely on the power of energy, because Einstein’s theory of relativity tells us that the speed limit of an object is the speed of light. If you want to break the speed of light, you need to apply the theory of space-time distortion.
Only by distorting time and space can we break the limit of the speed of light and let time and space drive the spacecraft forward and achieve super-light speed flight. Such technology is still too far away for mankind. The pace of interstellar exploration must be taken step by step. The next step is to achieve controllable nuclear fusion, followed by the application of antimatter energy. Only after the accumulation of technology to a certain extent, there is hope to realize the leap of space, and even the shuttle of wormholes.