After entering the industrial age, mankind officially embarked on the road of technological development. In more than 200 years, the speed of human science and technology development has been very fast, and the leaps and bounds of science and technology have made current achievements.
With the help of technology, mankind has walked out of the earth to see the vastness of the universe. In front of the universe, the earth is small, and human beings are also small. In the vast universe, scientists believe that alien civilizations exist, and that different alien civilizations must have different strengths. So how do you measure the hierarchical strength of a civilization?
In response to this, in 1654, astronomer Nikolai Kardashov proposed the concept of civilization levels. Kardashov divided the cosmic civilization into three levels based on the different levels of civilization mastery of energy. Later, astrophysicist Carl Sagan also proposed a calculation formula for civilization index on this basis.
The key to determining a civilization level in the formula is the average power, which is the intensity of the application of energy. The stronger the applied energy, the stronger the average power, and the higher the civilization level. According to this formula, the average power of earth civilization is about 2 x 10^13 watts, which is a very low value. According to this standard, human beings can only be regarded as a level 0.73 civilization.
Kardashov divided the cosmic civilization into three levels, and later scientists expanded it to seven levels on this basis. Even if it is expanded to seven levels, the current strength of human beings is still 0.73. It can be seen that the energy level that humans master is actually very low.
In fact, it is easy to understand when we think about it carefully. We must know that in the hundreds of years when human beings have entered the era of technology, they have been studying and exploring the application of fossil energy. Although we continue to update and upgrade fossil energy, which has enabled human technology to achieve leap-forward development, no matter how powerful fossil energy is, it can only be regarded as a low-level energy, and the upper limit of the energy level is very low.
If human beings want to upgrade, they need a higher level of energy, and a higher level than fossil energy is nuclear fusion energy. According to scientists’ assumptions, the first-level civilization is the primary planetary civilization, which can freely lie in the parent galaxy. To achieve this, you need to master controllable nuclear fusion technology.
The second-class civilization has the ability to navigate at a constant star level and can shuttle between different star systems. To achieve such a speed, it will inevitably require a very large amount of energy. In addition to the constant-star navigation, other aspects of science and technology also require huge energy. Although our controllable nuclear fusion can provide huge energy, as the level of civilization increases, it will move from the first level to the second level. Ordinary nuclear fusion energy can no longer meet the needs.
Nuclear fusion is a ubiquitous energy mode in the universe, which is mainly reflected in celestial bodies such as stars. A star is a ubiquitous celestial body in the universe. It is essentially equivalent to a huge nuclear fusion reactor. For a star system, 99.86% of its mass is concentrated on the central stellar object, so the nuclear fusion energy it can generate is also the most powerful.
Our sun is also a star that continuously undergoes nuclear fusion, and is a natural super fusion reactor. As long as we can use the energy of the sun’s nuclear fusion, there is no need to worry about the energy needs in the second civilization stage. Even if human beings become the first civilization, the demand for energy will become greater and greater, and it is impossible to rely on the resources of the earth suit one’s needs.
At this time, we also need the energy of the sun to meet the development needs of human science and technology, so how can we better use the energy of the sun’s nuclear fusion? In 1959, astronomer Freeman Dyson put forward the concept of Dyson sphere, thinking that when a civilization develops to a certain level, a giant structure for collecting energy will be built near the main star. This giant structure Enveloping stars, scientists call it Dyson spheres.
The ultimate Dyson sphere is able to basically completely envelop the star, thereby absorbing 100% of the energy emitted by the stellar nuclear fusion. However, to build a Dyson sphere of this level, the resources required are extremely large. The resources of all planets and asteroids in a star system cannot be combined to produce a Dyson sphere of this level. To achieve this goal, at least a second-level civilization is required. Later or third-level civilization can be used.
So for human beings, when we become a first-class civilization, how do we build a simple Dyson ball? To build the Dyson sphere requires huge resources, even a simple version of the Dyson sphere requires at least one planet’s resources. At this time, scientists thought of Mercury, the closest to the sun, and perhaps it could be dismantled to build a Dyson sphere.
Mercury is the planet closest to the sun. Its material density is very high, consisting of about 70% metal and 30% silicate. It can be seen that most of the material on Mercury can be used as the raw material for the construction of the Dyson sphere. Stuart Armstrong, a physicist at the University of Oxford, pointed out that in the near future, humans should dismantle Mercury to make Dyson spheres that wrap the sun. He also proposed an interesting plan for this.
The first step of this plan is to establish a mining farm on Mercury, through which the material on Mercury can be mined and refined; the second step is to launch the mined and refined materials into the predetermined orbit of the sun; the third step is to use these materials Manufacture solar energy collectors on the track; the fourth step is that the solar energy collectors collect the energy of the sun and supply the energy required by the entire circulatory system.
This kind of circulatory system is intelligent. As long as the initial work is completed, the energy provided by the solar collector can be used later to make copies of itself on Mercury. This circulatory system can continuously replicate itself, using the resources on Mercury to continuously improve and expand the Dyson sphere, until the entire Mercury is removed.
According to scientists’ estimates, as long as such a circulatory system is built on Mercury, then it will be completely automated, and Mercury can be dismantled after decades. With the same system, we can also dismantle other planets and expand the Dyson sphere on other planets. In the end, all the resources of the entire solar system except the earth are used to build the Dyson sphere.
Can such a vision be realized? The core technology of this vision is a highly self-replicating intelligent robot. The current artificial intelligence technology of human beings is developing rapidly, and it is believed that in the near future, intelligent robots will enter people’s lives.
Therefore, it is not too difficult to make an intelligent robot with self-mining replication. In theory, this idea can still work. Of course, as we said earlier, even if the planets and asteroids of the entire solar system are removed, a full version of the Dyson sphere cannot be created, only a simple version can be built. Even so, the amount of solar energy absorbed by the simple version of the Dyson Sphere can also meet the energy needs of human civilization at the first and second civilization stages.
When humans become more powerful, we can go to other galaxies to mine resources, continue to grow our Dyson spheres, and even build multiple Dyson spheres in other star systems in the same way, so that the huge amount of energy provided by the advantage of quantity can completely satisfy the needs of human beings. The need for more advanced civilization upgrades.
Of course, the energy of solar nuclear fusion cannot keep the human civilization level up. The energy of nuclear fusion level is not the most powerful energy in the universe. There are even greater energies such as antimatter and dark matter on it.