Even more powerful energy than nuclear fusion, once realized, may make mankind become an interstellar civilization

This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.

The core of industrial development is energy, and the key to the rapid progress of human science and technology is also energy. Energy is the cornerstone of the development of human science and technology civilization, without it, all science and technology can only be on paper, can not enter the practical application.

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For hundreds of years, the nature of energy has not changed. It is still the application of fossil energy. If we only develop on the earth, fossil energy can completely satisfy us. However, as human beings go out of the earth and begin to explore the universe, we find that fossil energy is less and less sufficient.

The existing energy of human beings is not enough to support us to leave the earth too far, let alone explore the vast universe. Voyager 1 is currently the fastest spacecraft for human exploration, with a speed of 17 kilometers per second. Even at such a fast speed, after more than 40 years of flying, it is only 210 kilometers away from us now. This distance is only out of the heliosphere, not out of the solar system.

At this speed, it will take tens of thousands of years for Voyager 1 to fly out of the solar system. This speed can be said to be as slow as tortoise speed. At this speed, it is impossible for us to explore other galaxies at all. Therefore, scientists have been looking for breakthroughs in energy. Only when the energy breakthrough is achieved can human beings go further and explore more distant stars, and the future of human beings will be better.

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At present, controllable nuclear fusion, which scientists have been studying and exploring, is the next step to replace fossil energy. So when we master controllable nuclear fusion, can we go out of the solar system and explore nearby galaxies? I’m afraid it’s also difficult.

Einstein’s theory of relativity tells us that the speed of a mass object can only be infinitely close to the speed of light, and even the speed of photons is only the speed of light. The theory of speed limit of light makes many people feel hopeless, believing that human beings will never travel all over the galaxy or even the universe.

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But Einstein’s theory of relativity has opened another window for us as well as one for us. General relativity puts forward the theory of space-time distortion. The existence of space-time distortion makes it possible to achieve superluminal speed. At present, scientists believe that there are two main ways to achieve superluminal speed, one is through wormhole shuttle, the other is the application of curvature engine.

Whether it is wormhole shuttle or curvature engine, it is an application of space-time distortion, which needs to break space. Although there is space-time distortion, it is very small under normal circumstances. To achieve the superluminal flight of spacecraft, it needs more space distortion. If we want to distort space greatly, we need more powerful energy, which I’m afraid nuclear fusion can’t achieve.

So scientists came up with a more powerful energy source than nuclear fusion, that is antimatter. Antimatter is the normal antimatter state of matter, which is similar to the particles of matter, with opposite electric generation or spin and force. Every elementary particle has its corresponding antiparticle. When the elementary particles and their antiparticles meet, they will annihilate at the same time and release 100% of their powerful energy.

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Antimatter was only a particle that scientists suspected at the beginning. In the 1960s, scientists found various antiparticles of basic particles through accelerators. Since then, the existence of antimatter has been beyond doubt. And in 997, scientists announced the discovery of the “silver center antimatter fountain”, so that scientists’ enthusiasm to find antimatter rose again.

The energy released after the disappearance of one gram of antimatter is about 42800 tons of TNT equivalent, which is almost equal to the “little boy” nuclear bomb of that year, while the energy released by 500 grams of antimatter can be equal to the most powerful hydrogen bomb of mankind. Such a powerful energy is exactly what human beings need to explore the universe. With this powerful energy, our spacecraft speed can be improved qualitatively, at least sub light speed can be realized.

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If we master the curvature engine technology in the future, we also need antimatter as a powerful energy source to distort space. It is this kind of energy that is very important for the future of mankind, so scientists have been actively exploring it, hoping to produce more antimatter. Unfortunately, with the current scientific and technological strength of human beings, although we can produce some antimatter particles, they will soon annihilate and cannot be really preserved.

At present, the cost of producing antimatter is also very high. According to the data released by scientists, it will cost nearly US $6 billion to produce 100 billionths of a gram of antimatter. We can’t bear the cost. If we want to apply antimatter, a powerful energy, to practice, we must need a lot of antimatter. Only by mastering the method of producing antimatter cheaply, can we make the application of antimatter come true.

In addition to making antimatter cheaply, there are also great technical difficulties in storing antimatter, which we need to constantly overcome. For human beings, the application of antimatter technology is still very far away. The next more important step is to realize controllable nuclear fusion as soon as possible, which is a transitional stage of fossil energy and antimatter energy.

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Nuclear fusion energy can make us walk out of the earth easily and explore the solar system freely. According to the classification standard of cosmic civilization by scientists, human civilization will be upgraded to first-class civilization at this time. When we master the antimatter energy, we can easily go out of the solar system and explore the starry sky outside the solar system. At this time, human beings will become an interstellar civilization and officially start the road of cosmic hegemony.

Antimatter can not only bring powerful power to the spacecraft, but also make powerful antimatter weapons with it. We should know that once human beings become an interstellar civilization and go to the interstellar world, they will inevitably come into contact with other alien civilizations. Under the dark forest law, it may be difficult to maintain real peace between civilizations in the universe.

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Once there is a conflict between human beings and alien civilizations, weapons are the basis for their use. Antimatter weapons are far more powerful than nuclear fusion weapons. With them, the interstellar journey of human beings can be more secure.

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