17
   

The Fermi Paradox

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 10:52 am
I don't claim any expertise in physics, nor in higher order mathematics. However, i do know enough to know that math alone is a dodgy basis for asserting any theory. I also consider it not to be a reasonable basis for claiming a scientific theory, if it provides no testable predictions, and no replicable procedures.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 10:55 am
@Setanta,
Same here. All that babble without some definitive evidence/proof, it's all conjecture.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 10:57 am
@Brandon9000,
I must say, that I love the fact that the Universe is so wildly different in capacity from what we have evolved to expect here on our tightly packed little "bio-finity" of a planet.

* Physical access to the universe is limited by the light speed boundary effectively minimizing the probability of accidental interaction between extraterrestrial intelligences.
* The vast majority of the physical universe is completely invisible to us because it doesn't radiate light and we can't even identify its composition yet through existing theory, instead being tossed into the catch-all of "Dark Energy".
* And of the tiny percentage of the universe which we can observe, it seems that we are incapable even of discerning the hallmarks of technological activity.

In some ways it seems like a hopeless trap. We are prevented from traveling at any reasonable speed (in relation to out lifespans), so exploration is unlikely to result in contact. We are blind to the majority of the structure of the Universe, and the structure itself is so large and old that we cannot even imagine a technology capable of leaving "footprints in the sand" of the stars.

Yet here on our world, even the tiniest microbes can colonize large enough patches of beach to be seen by us macro-inhabitants walking in the sand. How different the Universe is from the Earth. In some ways it's disappointing because it may remain forever impenetrable. But in another way it's refreshingly mysterious in that it's so different from what we have come to know.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 11:00 am
@rosborne979,
We just gotta make the best of our limited knowledge about our environment and lives.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 11:12 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
Yet here on our world, even the tiniest microbes can colonize large enough patches of beach to be seen by us macro-inhabitants walking in the sand. How different the Universe is from the Earth. In some ways it's disappointing because it may remain forever impenetrable. But in another way it's refreshingly mysterious in that it's so different from what we have come to know.


This last paragraph was really good.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 11:21 am
A physicist named Paul Davies wrote a book called, "The Eerie Silence," which I didn't read, but I have heard him summarize his ideas in a video, and he believes that we should look for objects and events in the heavens that look "fishy," that is, like someone has done some engineering. He thinks that we're more likely to find something like that than a radio signal. It wouldn't necessarily have to be a visual oddity. It could be a series of readings which suggest some kind of artificial activity.
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 11:34 am
Let's suppose humans establish a colony like this on the moon, but then the earth is destroyed.
Will the colonists be able to survive quite easily forever by growing their own food and re-cycling their water and air?

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/PoorOldSpike/Moon_colony_zpsa3a957f8.jpg~original
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 11:42 am
@Brandon9000,
We've already saw and reported on 'flying saucers.' LOL
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 04:09 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

A physicist named Paul Davies wrote a book called, "The Eerie Silence," which I didn't read, but I have heard him summarize his ideas in a video, and he believes that we should look for objects and events in the heavens that look "fishy," that is, like someone has done some engineering.

"Fishy" is sort of a broad category. Does he have any more specific suggestions for what we might look for?

By the way, I agree that we should look for things that appear "fishy" (artificial in some way), why not, right? I just wish I had a better idea of what form that might take.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 04:11 pm
@rosborne979,
"Fishy" is also something found under water. LOL
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 04:13 pm
I once read a pertinent comment to the effect that we might be completely oblivious to a wealth of evidence. So, for example, people in Papua-New Guinea have and use cell phones, watch television and are otherwise "technologically sophisticated," but how many of them know what mircrowaves are, and that the skies over their heads are full of the signals that make that technology possible?
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 04:40 pm
@Brandon9000,
The basis for string "theories" goes back several decades where the outcomes of the serial aspects of Quantum physics and chemistry hve all been evidenced. However, from there it extends into the realms of what Sozobes husband used to call 'Mathturbation" we know that the several other superstring hypotheses are being force fit together.

I don't think any of us can give a "power point" re: where its gone and where its going.

I think that, as phase one, were going to HAVE to seriously deal with gravity as a force or something else.Like several other areas, Gravity Is a real force that is a highly measurable tool and in other ways its a construct of space.

Like particles or waves, each has a separate MO.


I really believe that we WILL be leaving our neighborhood sometime in the future and, whether we dispense nucleotides an ribosomes, or frozen segments of life that contains "tailored" sequences of genes, or just electronic instructions and 3D copiers , we will find a way out there.
I think we will be sending some forms of life out there to sail away , and well be doing this in the next few centuries, since our knowledge of biology is getting fairly sophisticated and we will very soon be able to tailor life and target it to some earth like destinations (Of course that's the hard prt-finding earth like planets)
Ill bet, at firt, well just gamble on sending life probes out there and we will be guessing on as to how how hospitable the landings will be.

All this will happen only if theres some sense of competition imposed on us. Either from an impending natural disaster like an incoming planet killer. OR even home grown, like some group of nations vying for supremacy. After all, our first little steps were only taken to restore some national pride in our technology and to shove it up the Soviets Asses. Qe then seemed to have lost any sense of mission.
Itll take something urgent to get us off our landlocked butts an once again get out there.

I mean look how long it took for the entire liquid fueled rocket program to mature from the late 1920's to 1969. Now were working on rail guns and space ladders
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2014 10:00 pm
The chances of finding an earth-type planet is so remote that it won't be worthwhile trying to find one, think "needle/haystack".
Mars seems the best bet to set up a colony because at least there's possibly water there from which oxygen can be extracted, and there might be enough nutrients in the soil to bring into the domes to grow plants.
By comparison the moon is a dead duck unless a self-supporting colony can somehow be established, maybe they can harness the fierce solar radiation to power assorted things
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2014 04:06 am
A space elevator only makes sense if we're going to be fairly busy out there. I suspect that one will get built about the time that we begin seriously to exploit the so-called asteroid belt. One of the problems is that it would very likely to be situated over the equator, and that means a terminus in northern South America, central Africa or Indonesia. Indonesia would probably be the best option in terms of a stable nation which is reasonably, technologically sophisticated. Somewhere on Sumatra might be reasonable.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2014 04:24 am
@Romeo Fabulini,
Romeo Fabulini wrote:
The chances of finding an earth-type planet is so remote that it won't be worthwhile trying to find one, think "needle/haystack".
Mars seems the best bet to set up a colony because at least there's possibly water there from which oxygen can be extracted, and there might be enough nutrients in the soil to bring into the domes to grow plants.
By comparison the moon is a dead duck unless a self-supporting colony can somehow be established, maybe they can harness the fierce solar radiation to power assorted things

First of all, we're not talking about finding an earth type planet, although millions of those probably exist. We're talking about planets that might sustain some type of life, which might be very different from us. Second, we're not talking about planets within our solar system, e.g. Mars. We're talking about planets circling any of the other trillions of stars in the universe, and particularly within our galaxy.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2014 06:39 am
@Setanta,
When that time comes Ill bet a whole "spaceport" industry may be born and several "municiplaities" along the equator will be vying for the contracts.
We will need to make the space repositories more "bullet proof" so all the crap we send up to stage for ultimate space travel wont be wiped out by errant nuts and bolts traveling at 25K mph.

An article about an ionic engine boosted by a magnetic "rail gun" gizmo (powered by solar arrays ) was in one of the space mags several years ago. The staging area would be in space and would be based as a delivery point supplied by an elevator. The ion engine dingus looked like a huge mushroom and would reach 0.25 (c). The only trouble I had was accommodating Newtons III . How would the rail gun facility dampen all the "equal nd opposite motion"

The interesting thing here, is that anything Ive just mentioned , is possible NOW. We haven't had to bend any laws of physics yet. a quarter (c) isn't out of the realm of possibility using long distance and F=ma
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jul, 2014 06:48 am
@Romeo Fabulini,
we can TODAY set up civilization centers in the sea bottoms of we choose. Theres nothing that is out of the realm of our present technology that doesn't allow us to set up a colony on, say, MARS. Solar radiation, oxygen, water , all can be dealt with

solar radiation-who says all our buildings need to be above ground. In Minneapolis we connect buildings by skyways and in Toledo we connect buildings by underground walkways and nobody thinks twice about it.

Water is chemistry in a bucket. ALL mineral salts that eve ound on MARS are hydrates (so far). We also know of water ice deposits

Oxygen can be set up by "terraforming with plants" to use C4 plants to convert CO2 to components that we can use.

We have the technology NOW for a decent life in MArs. e just lack the will and any commitment and focus. Fuckin Govt always gets in the way of any progress. Look at this kid that developed "Oculus Riff". The government has been working on visual A.I. **** for decades and he finds a way in a garage and its gonna change our entire eye hand futzin with computers.

Well have holodecks and teleportation "Skype". And all within 2 , 3 years
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 02:40 am
@farmerman,
A space elevator could operate with a fairly simple electromagnetic system, similar to that which the Japanese use for their high speed rail--the so-called maglev trains. Then the problem is the power source. If it were used infrequently (no more than once a day), it could probably be powered by a solar array. The biggest problem for a space elevator would be the orbital terminus. One good way to deal with that would be to get an "asteroid" or an Apollo object and nudge it into geo-syn orbit and use that as the terminus. The electromagnetic system would require about five days to lift a load about the size of a narrow five-story building to the geo-sync point, which would be about 23,000 miles out.

The advantage of using an asteroid or an Apollo object would be that, if you select a carbonaceous chondrite, you could mine it to produce carbon fiber for the elevator cable. About ten meters in diameter, and you'd have a dynamic tension between the cable's "desire" to crash to the surface due to the gravity well, and it's "desire" to fly off into the wild blue yonder because of the rotational effect. The limiting factor on the elevator cars is more a matter of dimensions that of mass. Mass affects how long you'd have to "warm up" to get it moving.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 03:19 am
That "rail gun" technology is actually rather old. The rail guns the Navy came up with are absurdly overpowered. This technology was tested at MIT or Harvard in the 1970s (i disremember which it was). A battery pack the size of a steamer trunk, with a solar array to recharge it could be lofted up to capture an asteroid or an Apollo object. Strap on four or fivc rails (in microgravity, fifty meter rails would be no problem), wrap them in copper wire and put a drill head into the center. Then start mining the object, and using the mass generated to operate the mini rail gun as a propulsion system. Thanks to equal and opposite reaction in microgravity, the mass would not move, the asteroid or Apollo object would move. Some chemical rockets could be attached for guidance. We could use robotic systems (which are woefully underutilized) to set it up and run it, or some cosmonauts--the Russians seem to see them as expendable.

That could also be used to create an atmosphere on Mars. A synchronous station could be set up orbiting Titan, with a hose dropping into the upper atmosphere. It could then suck up nitrogen and spew it out to form huge nitrogen snow balls. Using the weak rail gun system and some chemical guidance rockets, it could then be chugged over to Mars. Remove the rail gun once it's in areosynchronous orbit, and leave a couple fo small chemical rockets. Use the guidance rockets to tip the nose down so that it crashes into the equator on Mars, and as its elemental, you'd be putting large amounts of N into the atmosphere, which is mostly carbon-dioxide now. Some robotic factories on the surface could use solar power to break CO2 into carbon and oxygen, and in a couple of centuries, you'd have a breathable atmosphere there, and more importantly, some protection against cosmic and solar radiation. A solar flare could send out a radiation wave which would expose anyone on the surface to from 100 to 200 rem for fifteen or twenty minutes. That would be a death sentence--at the low end, you're dead in a few weeks; at the high end, you're dead in under two days. The carbon could be used for carbon fiber ceramics--all the ingredients are there just lying around--which would a million construction and manufacturing uses. Right now, at the lowest surface level, the atmospheric pressure is about 15 millibars. The "datum" is the 6 millibar level. I prefer to think in terms of mean surface level. You could run it up to about 500 millibars in a couple of centuries of low tech, low cost robbery from Saturn. Hell, Saturn wouldn't even notice the loss.

The same system could be used to throw snow balls of water ice from the rings of Saturn at the Martian equator. Some of those who speculate on the "Big Hit" hypothesis, of a planetesimal hitting the Martian north polar region about four to three billions years ago already think the Saturnian rings came from Mars in the first place. If possible, these N and H2O bombs should be aimed the Valles Marineris. If areological speculation is correct, there may well be frozen aquifers under the surface there. If so, N or H2O bombs the size of Ireland hitting the equator would release a lot of, at least temporarily, liquid water onto the surface. I'd like to get my hands on the planet.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jul, 2014 04:46 am
@Setanta,
a mass driver or a rail gun , as I understand, would use a "Lofstrom Loop" to provide the place fo a counterforce to prevent Newtoniian consequences.
All Ive seen on these gizmos is a very long earth connected loop that is tethered at each end of a 2000km "line" in which the mass driver or rail gun, (or any other tech of space gun would be initiated).
Any such of a "hookup" would have the ability to drop the costs of achieving a near earth orbit down to the 100's of dollas per kilo (as opposed to the present costs of 10 to 30 K dollars per kilo).
Achieving the lo earth orbit has always been the show stopper for really big adventures.
 

 
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