Re: Fermi Paradox

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Sun Oct 16 2005 - 06:31:41 MDT

--- wrote:

> On Sat, 15 Oct 2005, ben wrote:
> > You probably need several (at least two,
> maybe three) generations of
> > stars to get enough heavy elements to make
> rocky planets, so more
> > recently-formed stars will have a better
> chance of hosting life (as we
> > know it. Gregory Benford seems keen on the
> idea of lifeforms based on
> > magnetic fields and plasma, but that's a
> whole different story, and i
> > don't know whether he regards that as a real
> possibility or just a good
> > story line).
> I had a conversation with another list member
> (Peter M) while out hiking.
> It occurred to me that a dysan sphere of
> 'exotic materials' could be
> placed within a star. The core is so hot
> relative to the surface that
> you'd be able to make use of the stars energy
> very effectively with a
> heat engine using that differential in core and
> surface temperatures.
> We could have entire hidden stellar
> civilizations making use of the
> vast energy available within a star to run them
> selves. The only
> catch is that it requires exotic materials,
> ones which allow construction
> of machines that can operate in a plasma. Of
> course some sort of plasma
> based machine is one possibility, but it
> doesn't seem beyond the scope
> of a super advanced culture to come up with
> solid machinery built of
> exotic particles. So maybe a surprise awaits
> should we discover such a
> material and use it to take a peak inside the
> sun.

For reasons of room, and lesser requirements for
exotic materials, I would tend to expect such an
arrangement in a red supergiant star. These are
very large and comparatively cool. However, they
don't last long enough to warrant such use,
unless the inhabitants manipulate the internal
workings of the star to increase its longevity.
If one sees a red supergiant that just won't go
away after many millions of years, then become

Tom Buckner

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