This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.
Human beings are the only intelligent life on earth. From the day of human birth, we can see the sky above us. At this time, countless people will think: what is beyond the sky? Such doubts have accompanied mankind for millions of years. It was not until hundreds of years ago, when mankind entered the era of science and technology, that it began to uncover the mystery of the sky.
Now, with the help of science and technology, we can go out of the earth and see the real world of the earth and the vast space beyond the earth. Before human beings go out of the earth, they think that the earth is boundless and vast. But when we go out of the earth, we know how ignorant this cognition is.
Beyond the earth is the solar system. In front of the solar system, the earth is just a small planet. With the continuous development of science and technology, we have observed the Milky way of the solar system. At this time, we understand that the solar system is only one of the hundreds of billions of galaxies with the Milky Way coefficient. The solar system is as small as dust in front of the Milky way, and our observable universe has reached 93 billion light-years, which may be just the tip of the iceberg of the vast universe.
Exploring the whole universe is just a distant dream for human beings. For human beings, what we need to do in the future is to be able to go out of the solar system and explore the nearby stars. But it’s such a simple dream. Some scientists think that it may never come true. What’s the matter?
Some scientists believe that due to various factors, human beings may never be able to leave the solar system. Some may say that the scope of the solar system is not large. As long as we work hard, we believe that it will be easy to do so with human science and technology in a few years. Is that really the case? In fact, this goal is far from as simple as we think.
If we want to get out of the solar system, we must first understand how big the solar system is? Just after mankind stepped out of the earth, scientists defined the scope of the solar system by Pluto, that is, the scope of the past nine planets is the scope of the solar system.
However, with the improvement of human observation technology, we find that the range of the solar system is much wider than what we have known. How to determine the range of a stellar system? What are the criteria for judging? Scientists believe that it is more accurate and reliable to judge the stellar system based on the distance of stellar gravity.
According to the standard of stellar gravity, with the mass of the sun, its gravitational range can reach about 4 light-years. Light year is the most basic distance unit in the vast universe. It is an insurmountable gap for the current human science and technology. Even the fastest spacecraft at present, it will take at least tens of thousands of years to cross the distance of one light year.
Therefore, if we want to get out of the solar system, we need an ultra fast aircraft speed, which should at least reach the initial sub light speed. We can’t spend tens of thousands of years shuttling through the solar system, because the life span of human beings is limited, only about a few decades on average.
So what kind of conditions need to be met to realize the preliminary sublight flight? The most important thing is the breakthrough of energy. Can human energy achieve a major breakthrough? If human beings are given enough time and resources to develop, then the continuous breakthrough of energy technology is certain.
But the real problem is that resources are not unlimited. Although the resources of the universe are unlimited, the resources of the earth are limited. We all know that since mankind entered the era of industrial revolution, the energy used is basically fossil energy, and these fossil energy is formed by the earth after hundreds of millions of years, they are non renewable resources.
The industrial development of mankind cannot do without these fossil energy resources. Once they are exhausted, the industry will stop developing. Without the development of industry, the development of science and technology will be stagnant, even backward. Energy is the core and foundation of the rapid development of industry. Without energy, there will be no power for industrial development.
However, industry has stagnated. No matter how powerful our scientific and technological theories are, they will only be on paper. Because all the applications of science and technology need to use energy, and with the continuous progress of science and technology, the demand for energy will be increasing. The earth’s reserves of fossil resources will be exhausted in a few years. At that time, if there is no completely alternative new energy, human industrial development will stop.
The problem of energy depletion is only the first limiting factor for us to get out of the solar system. Even if we solve the problem of fossil energy supply in the future, for example, mining the resources of the asteroid belt may make the consumption of human resources last longer. But even so, we still need to face another bigger problem, that is the quality of energy.
Our current application of energy is still in the molecular stage, and the energy level of the molecular stage is relatively low. The energy generated by the molecular stage can be powerful in the earth era, which can allow us to go out of the earth and preliminarily explore the solar system. However, such energy is not enough for us to get out of the solar system, because the upper limit of chemical energy is very low, and the application of fossil energy is close to the upper limit.
If energy cannot go from the molecular stage to the atomic stage, we will never really improve the quality of energy even if mankind develops for millions of years. For example, as early as 50 years ago, it took us about half a year to go from earth to Mars, but now it still takes about half a year to go from earth to Mars.
The reason why the time from earth to Mars has not been significantly shortened in the past 50 years is that we have not really achieved a big breakthrough in the application of energy and are still at a very low molecular stage. A preliminary application of the atomic stage is controllable nuclear fusion. Only by realizing this, can our energy be leaped, and the speed of the spacecraft is expected to rise to sub light speed.
Then, after the speed of the spacecraft is increased, can humans walk out of the solar system? Of course not. At this time, we still need to face a problem, that is, human beings themselves. We all know that the human body is actually very fragile, because it has very high requirements for the environment. It should not be too cold, too hot, afraid of crushing and collision, and even very afraid of radiation. To say the least, even if the basic environment is satisfied, the human body needs to supplement hundreds of trace elements every day to maintain the vitality and health of the body.
If we can’t solve the problem of human’s very weak physical quality, even if we have other conditions to go out of the solar system, we can only send unmanned probes to explore other galaxies, and human will still be trapped in the solar system. Of course, it is not difficult to solve the problem of human body weakness in the future. Powerful genetic technology can make the human body constantly strengthen and meet the requirements of adapting to the cosmic environment.
Therefore, if human beings want to go out of the solar system, the core restriction is the quality of energy. Only when we solve the problem of energy, from the molecular stage to the atomic stage, can we hope to go out of the solar system. This breakthrough in energy level is related to whether resources can be continuously provided. If the earth’s resources are completely exhausted before human beings break through the atomic stage, then human beings may never be able to get out of the solar system.