From the moment human beings were born, the ancestors of human beings in ancient times were full of curiosity and complicated feelings about the stars of the universe. In the eyes of the ancients, the starry sky was vast and mysterious, and it was accompanied by all kinds of awe and fear of the starry sky.
Some people may say, why did the ancients fear the starry sky? The reason is the occasional “fire rain”. These fire rains are the meteor showers we know now. In our eyes, the meteor showers are a beautiful starry sky scene. However, in the eyes of the ancients, the meteor shower was the beginning of disasters, indicating that disasters would come.
With the continuous development of human civilization, it embarked on the road of industrial development hundreds of years ago. The advent of technology has brought us the hope of exploring the stars. After the rapid development of industry, at the end of the 1950s, mankind finally walked out of the earth and saw the true face of the earth from space, as well as the vastness and mystery of the universe.
Our impression of standing in space is: the earth is too small, but we are proud again: human beings have walked out of the earth with a small body, and continue to explore the mysteries of the universe with the power of science. From this point of view, humans are great .
When we feel the vastness of the universe and the greatness of mankind, another unavoidable question arises: Does alien civilization exist? If humans are still limited in the field of vision of the earth, then many people will not believe in the existence of alien civilizations.
But when we look at the vast universe, there is almost no doubt about the existence of extraterrestrial civilization. Whether from the perspective of the vastness of the universe or the perspective of the age of the universe, the existence of alien civilization is basically certain. So after human beings walked out of the earth, they began a great search for extraterrestrial civilization.
This project has been going on for more than half a century, but until now, apart from a few specious wireless signals, we have found any traces related to alien civilization. Doesn’t this make sense? The current observable range of human beings has reached 93 billion light-years, the number of existing stars has reached trillions, and the number of terrestrial planets is too large to describe with numbers.
Moreover, the age of the universe is now 13.8 billion years old. No matter from which point of view, there should be many interstellar civilizations that are many times more advanced than human beings. The universe should be very lively. But why no matter how humans “scream”, there is no way to get a response? Is there only one civilization in the universe? Obviously unlikely.
The above question is the famous viewpoint put forward by physicist Fermi in the 1950s: Fermi’s paradox. Fermi’s Paradox is also puzzled by this incredible phenomenon. Why is the universe, which should have been very lively, so quiet?
For Fermi’s paradox, scientists have put forward various conjectures to explain, and some conjectures even subvert people’s cognition. In addition to these cognition-subverting conjectures, some scientists have also put forward a new idea, that is, to find the scientific and technological achievements of alien civilizations, such as Dyson spheres, huge interstellar spacecraft traces or von Neumann-style probes. Device.
I have described the first two things many times in previous articles, and today we will focus on the von Neumann detector. So what is a von Neumann detector? This kind of detector can be called an interstellar unmanned intelligent detector, and its biggest feature is that it can efficiently replicate itself.
On the way to the current starry sky, we can obtain materials from the spot in the process of continuous navigation, provide the energy required by the detector, and efficiently copy the new detector, so that our team will grow stronger and stronger. According to scientists’ calculations, a von Neumann-type detector can complete the detection of the entire galaxy in only about 500,000 years.
Regarding the von Neumann detector, not all scientists support this view. Some people think that this kind of detector that can replicate itself and continuously draw materials to complete the energy supply is unlikely to exist. Its mass and volume determine It requires a huge amount of energy and cannot support long-term interstellar voyages. Moreover, there are too many uncontrollable factors in the replication of this kind of machine, and any problem in any link will cause the detector to fail.
Scientists who oppose the von Neumann detector mainly believe that it has a huge energy demand, and the interstellar space of the universe is a place where matter is lacking, and it is unlikely to replenish the energy it needs. Traditional von Neumann detectors are huge in size and require huge energy, but astrophysicist Zaza Osmanov pointed out that the real von Neumann detectors may not be as good as we thought. Large, but very small, maybe only one nanometer.
One nanometer believes that all my friends know that it is a microscopically visible size, which is invisible to human eyes. If the von Neumann detector is really only one nanometer, then such a small size can greatly alleviate the demand for resources, even if it is sailing in interstellar space, it only needs some cosmic dust to meet the energy consumption of its own replication. .
According to simulations, 100 von Neumann detectors spread into an area of 3.3 light-years (1 parsec), and the number will reach 1X10^33. This number is extremely alarming. When a large number of von Neumann-type detectors gather together, under certain circumstances, strong visible light may be found, forming an obvious comet-like structure.
Therefore, when human beings observe very fast and very strange celestial bodies in the universe, we should pay great attention to it. It may be the phenomenon of the rapid advancement of micro-spacecraft sent by alien civilizations.
If the von Neumann-type detectors are real, then such interstellar spacecraft may have been scattered in all corners of the universe, but they are too small for humans to see. At the same time, it also tells us that the existence of the solar system and the earth may have long been no secret. Advanced civilizations have known the existence of the earth and human beings for a long time, but seeing that human technology is still very weak, they do not want to contact us.
Some scientists even believe that humans may be alternative von Neumann detectors. There is no definite answer to the origin of mankind. Although the mainstream view is that ancient apes evolved, there are still many mysteries that cannot be explained by the theory of evolution.
Some scientists believe that it is possible that in ancient times, the von Neumann probe of the alien civilization sent some instructions to the earth to affect DNA in the depths of the distant starry sky, so that the earth’s ancient ape at that time was a native creature. A certain pre-determined mutation occurred in the DNA, thus embarking on the path of intellectual evolution.
Of course, these are just our guesses. Whether the von Neumann detector exists is still unknown. If such interstellar probes really exist in the universe, we need microscopic telescopes to discover them. This is something that human science and technology are still difficult to achieve. However, with the continuous advancement of human science and technology, future observation technology will be further improved, and some clues may be found to detect special detectors hidden in the universe. We look forward to this day.