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  • Antimatter Drive (poll)

    This subject was previously discussed in another thread. It was then decided by me to create a poll on this:

    1.) Should Antimatter drives be in the game if they are only able to be developed with a type II civlization status? I think no.

    -Look down for additional information to aid in the answer.

    Quoted by Proffessor Kaku:

    "Physics of Type I, II, and III Civilizations

    Specifically, we can rank civilizations by their energy consumption, using the following principles:

    1) The laws of thermodynamics. Even an advanced civilization is bound by the laws of thermodynamics, especially the Second Law, and can hence be ranked by the energy at their disposal.

    2) The laws of stable matter. Baryonic matter (e.g. based on protons and neutrons) tends to clump into three large groupings: planets, stars and galaxies. (This is a well-defined by product of stellar and galactic evolution, thermonuclear fusion, etc.) Thus, their energy will also be based on three distinct types, and this places upper limits on their rate of energy consumption.

    3) The laws of planetary evolution. Any advanced civilization must grow in energy consumption faster than the frequency of life-threatening catastrophes (e.g. meteor impacts, ice ages, supernovas, etc.). If they grow any slower, they are doomed to extinction. This places mathematical lower limits on the rate of growth of these civilizations.

    In a seminal paper published in 1964 in the Journal of Soviet Astronomy, Russian astrophysicist Nicolai Kardashev theorized that advanced civilizations must therefore be grouped according to three types: Type I, II, and III, which have mastered planetary, stellar and galactic forms of energy, respectively. He calculated that the energy consumption of these three types of civilization would be separated by a factor of many billions. But how long will it take to reach Type II and III status?

    Shorter than most realize.

    Berkeley astronomer Don Goldsmith reminds us that the earth receives about one billionth of the suns energy, and that humans utilize about one millionth of that. So we consume about one million billionth of the suns total energy. At present, our entire planetary energy production is about 10 billion billion ergs per second. But our energy growth is rising exponentially, and hence we can calculate how long it will take to rise to Type II or III status.

    Goldsmith says, "Look how far we have come in energy uses once we figured out how to manipulate energy, how to get fossil fuels really going, and how to create electrical power from hydropower, and so forth; we've come up in energy uses in a remarkable amount in just a couple of centuries compared to billions of years our planet has been here ... and this same sort of thing may apply to other civilizations."

    Physicist Freeman Dyson of the Institute for Advanced Study estimates that, within 200 years or so, we should attain Type I status. In fact, growing at a modest rate of 1% per year, Kardashev estimated that it would take only 3,200 years to reach Type II status, and 5,800 years to reach Type III status. Living in a Type I,II, or III civilization

    For example, a Type I civilization is a truly planetary one, which has mastered most forms of planetary energy. Their energy output may be on the order of thousands to millions of times our current planetary output. Mark Twain once said, "Everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it." This may change with a Type I civilization, which has enough energy to modify the weather. They also have enough energy to alter the course of earthquakes, volcanoes, and build cities on their oceans.

    Currently, our energy output qualifies us for Type 0 status. We derive our energy not from harnessing global forces, but by burning dead plants (e.g. oil and coal). But already, we can see the seeds of a Type I civilization. We see the beginning of a planetary language (English), a planetary communication system (the Internet), a planetary economy (the forging of the European Union), and even the beginnings of a planetary culture (via mass media, TV, rock music, and Hollywood films).

    By definition, an advanced civilization must grow faster than the frequency of life-threatening catastrophes. Since large meteor and comet impacts take place once every few thousand years, a Type I civilization must master space travel to deflect space debris within that time frame, which should not be much of a problem. Ice ages may take place on a time scale of tens of thousands of years, so a Type I civilization must learn to modify the weather within that time frame.

    Artificial and internal catastrophes must also be negotiated. But the problem of global pollution is only a mortal threat for a Type 0 civilization; a Type I civilization has lived for several millennia as a planetary civilization, necessarily achieving ecological planetary balance. Internal problems like wars do pose a serious recurring threat, but they have thousands of years in which to solve racial, national, and sectarian conflicts.

    Eventually, after several thousand years, a Type I civilization will exhaust the power of a planet, and will derive their energy by consuming the entire output of their suns energy, or roughly a billion trillion trillion ergs per second.

    With their energy output comparable to that of a small star, they should be visible from space. Dyson has proposed that a Type II civilization may even build a gigantic sphere around their star to more efficiently utilize its total energy output. Even if they try to conceal their existence, they must, by the Second Law of Thermodynamics, emit waste heat. From outer space, their planet may glow like a Christmas tree ornament. Dyson has even proposed looking specifically for infrared emissions (rather than radio and TV) to identify these Type II civilizations.

    Perhaps the only serious threat to a Type II civilization would be a nearby supernova explosion, whose sudden eruption could scorch their planet in a withering blast of X-rays, killing all life forms. Thus, perhaps the most interesting civilization is a Type III civilization, for it is truly immortal. They have exhausted the power of a single star, and have reached for other star systems. No natural catastrophe known to science is capable of destroying a Type III civilization.

    Faced with a neighboring supernova, it would have several alternatives, such as altering the evolution of dying red giant star which is about to explode, or leaving this particular star system and terraforming a nearby planetary system.

    However, there are roadblocks to an emerging Type III civilization. Eventually, it bumps up against another iron law of physics, the theory of relativity. Dyson estimates that this may delay the transition to a Type III civilization by perhaps millions of years.

    But even with the light barrier, there are a number of ways of expanding at near-light velocities. For example, the ultimate measure of a rockets capability is measured by something called "specific impulse" (defined as the product of the thrust and the duration, measured in units of seconds). Chemical rockets can attain specific impulses of several hundred to several thousand seconds. Ion engines can attain specific impulses of tens of thousands of seconds. But to attain near-light speed velocity, one has to achieve specific impulse of about 30 million seconds, which is far beyond our current capability, but not that of a Type III civilization. A variety of propulsion systems would be available for sub-light speed probes (such as ram-jet fusion engines, photonic engines, etc.)"

    Additional Information:

    "Type I this civilization harnesses the energy output of an entire planet.

    Type II this civilization harnesses the energy output of a star, and generates about 10 billion times the energy output of a Type I civilization.

    Type III this civilization harnesses the energy output of a galaxy, or about 10 billion time the energy output of a Type II civilization.

    A Type I civilization would be able to manipulate truly planetary energies. They might, for example, control or modify their weather. They would have the power to manipulate planetary phenomena, such as hurricanes, which can release the energy of hundreds of hydrogen bombs. Perhaps volcanoes or even earthquakes may be altered by such a civilization.

    A Type II civilization may resemble the Federation of Planets seen on the TV program Star Trek (which is capable of igniting stars and has colonized a tiny fraction of the near-by stars in the galaxy). A Type II civilization might be able to manipulate the power of solar flares.

    A Type III civilization may resemble the Borg, or perhaps the Empire found in the Star Wars saga. They have colonized the galaxy itself, extracting energy from hundreds of billions of stars.

    By contrast, we are a Type 0 civilization, which extracts its energy from dead plants (oil and coal). Growing at the average rate of about 3% per year, however, one may calculate that our own civilization may attain Type I status in about 100-200 years, Type II status in a few thousand years, and Type III status in about 100,000 to a million years. These time scales are insignificant when compared with the universe itself.


    On this scale, one may now rank the different propulsion systems available to different types of civilizations:

    Type 0
    Chemical rockets
    Ionic engines
    Fission power
    EM propulsion (rail guns)

    Type I
    Ram-jet fusion engines
    Photonic drive

    Type II
    Antimatter drive
    Von Neumann nano probes

    Type III
    Planck energy propulsion

    For a Type I civilization, one can envision newer types of technologies emerging. Ram-jet fusion engines have an even larger specific impulse, operating for years by consuming the free hydrogen found in deep space. However, it may take decades before fusion power is harnessed commercially on earth, and the proton-proton fusion process of a ram-jet fusion engine may take even more time to develop, perhaps a century or more. Laser or photonic engines, because they might be propelled by laser beams inflating a gigantic sail, may have even larger specific impulses. One can envision huge laser batteries placed on the moon which generate large laser beams which then push a laser sail in outer space. This technology, which depends on operating large bases on the moon, is probably many centuries away.

    For a Type II civilization, a new form of propulsion is possible: anti-matter drive. Matter-anti-matter collisions provide a 100% efficient way in which to extract energy from mater. However, anti-matter is an exotic form of matter which is extremely expensive to produce. The atom smasher at CERN, outside Geneva, is barely able to make tiny samples of anti-hydrogen gas (anti-electrons circling around anti-protons). It may take many centuries to millennia to bring down the cost so that it can be used for space flight.

    Given the astronomical number of possible planets in the galaxy, a Type II civilization may try a more realistic approach than conventional rockets and use nano technology to build tiny, self-replicating robot probes which can proliferate through the galaxy in much the same way that a microscopic virus can self-replicate and colonize a human body within a week. Such a civilization might send tiny robot von Neumann probes to distant moons, where they will create large factories to reproduce millions of copies of themselves. Such a von Neumann probe need only be the size of bread-box, using sophisticated nano technology to make atomic-sized circuitry and computers. Then these copies take off to land on other distant moons and start the process all over again. Such probes may then wait on distant moons, waiting for a primitive Type 0 civilization to mature into a Type I civilization, which would then be interesting to them. (There is the small but distinct possibility that one such probe landed on our own moon billions of years ago by a passing space-faring civilization. This, in fact, is the basis of the movie 2001, perhaps the most realistic portrayal of contact with extra-terrrestrial intelligence.)

    The problem, as one can see, is that none of these engines can exceed the speed of light. Hence, Type 0,I, and II civilizations probably can send probes or colonies only to within a few hundred light years of their home planet. Even with von Neumann probes, the best that a Type II civilization can achieve is to create a large sphere of billions of self-replicating probes expanding just below the speed of light. To break the light barrier, one must utilize General Relativity and the quantum theory. This requires energies which are available for very advanced Type II civilization or, more likely, a Type III civilization."

    ok thats enough information.

    Thank you for you help,
    Jeremy Buloch
    10
    No it shouldn't.
    50.00%
    5
    Yes it should.
    50.00%
    5
    Naval Imperia Designer

  • #2
    I agree with you, JB, and have voted nay. I think going all the way to type II, and type III civilization types would be a little far-fetched to say the least.

    Vovan

    PS: Thanks for posting this article. The reason I asked you to cite the source of your findings in the first place, was that I was not sure who this Kardashev character is. After reading the information you have given here, I know. Thanks.

    EDIT: double- It's getting late, and I voted yes, instead of no. D'oh. Sorry about that.
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    • #3
      Thanks Vovan!

      Oh and about the miscalculated vote I will Count that as no not yes when we tally all the votes.
      -J.B.-
      Naval Imperia Designer

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      • #4
        What is Planck energy propulsion? Does that drive break the light-barrier?

        And if a type II civ won't have antimatter-drive, will it still be possible for them to use antimatter as a powersource? Or do you want to throw away antimatter altogether? I'm against that, actually. But it is possible that when a civ has reached type III, that they will only then be able to use it as a form of propulsion.
        Michiel Helvensteijn
        --
        SPDT Member: Helpmate

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        • #5
          What is Planck energy propulsion?

          "Lastly, there is also the possibility that a Type II or Type III civilization might be able to reach the fabled Planck energy with their machines (10^19 billion electron volts). This is energy is a quadrillion times larger than our most powerful atom smasher. This energy, as fantastic as it may seem, is (by definition) within the range of a Type II or III civilization.

          The Planck energy only occurs at the center of black holes and the instant of the Big Bang. But with recent advances in quantum gravity and superstring theory, there is renewed interest among physicists about energies so vast that quantum effects rip apart the fabric of space and time. Although it is by no means certain that quantum physics allows for stable wormholes, this raises the remote possibility that a sufficiently advanced civilizations may be able to move via holes in space, like Alice's Looking Glass. And if these civilizations can successfully navigate through stable wormholes, then attaining a specific impulse of a million seconds is no longer a problem. They merely take a short-cut through the galaxy. This would greatly cut down the transition between a Type II and Type III civilization."

          As for the antimatter question: I'm not sure. I am tired right now and have had a long yet short day. So I will get back to that question later.
          -J.B.-
          Naval Imperia Designer

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          • #6
            Antimatter: you see, Grand Unification Theory denotes that there are reactions without barion number conservation, so matter and anti-matter may be in fact, distinct.
            According to Types II and especialy III, I have one simple (yet old) question: where are these guys? Our own radio and television is nowdays easily detectable by our own means for distance around 200-300 l.y. (while its event horizon is now nothing more than 100 l.y. and very faint here). Today, Earth emits in ~1m radio as much as Sun. Again, Type II and III simply can't hide their energy signatures (proveding their don't cheat thermodynamics laws).
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            Stella Polaris Development Team, ex-Graphics Manager

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            • #7
              Ahh you asked a very good question Targon and its explained in his articles.

              A type II or III civlization would have loads of energy signatures. So they would be seen if we took infared shots of space. We look at radio signatures which is a mistake. It is explained here and he can explain it much better than I:

              "With their energy output comparable to that of a small star, they should be visible from space. Dyson has proposed that a Type II civilization may even build a gigantic sphere around their star to more efficiently utilize its total energy output. Even if they try to conceal their existence, they must, by the Second Law of Thermodynamics, emit waste heat. From outer space, their planet may glow like a Christmas tree ornament. Dyson has even proposed looking specifically for infrared emissions (rather than radio and TV) to identify these Type II civilizations.

              Perhaps the only serious threat to a Type II civilization would be a nearby supernova explosion, whose sudden eruption could scorch their planet in a withering blast of X-rays, killing all life forms. Thus, perhaps the most interesting civilization is a Type III civilization, for it is truly immortal. They have exhausted the power of a single star, and have reached for other star systems. No natural catastrophe known to science is capable of destroying a Type III civilization.

              Faced with a neighboring supernova, it would have several alternatives, such as altering the evolution of dying red giant star which is about to explode, or leaving this particular star system and terraforming a nearby planetary system.

              However, there are roadblocks to an emerging Type III civilization. Eventually, it bumps up against another iron law of physics, the theory of relativity. Dyson estimates that this may delay the transition to a Type III civilization by perhaps millions of years.

              But even with the light barrier, there are a number of ways of expanding at near-light velocities. For example, the ultimate measure of a rockets capability is measured by something called "specific impulse" (defined as the product of the thrust and the duration, measured in units of seconds). Chemical rockets can attain specific impulses of several hundred to several thousand seconds. Ion engines can attain specific impulses of tens of thousands of seconds. But to attain near-light speed velocity, one has to achieve specific impulse of about 30 million seconds, which is far beyond our current capability, but not that of a Type III civilization. A variety of propulsion systems would be available for sub-light speed probes (such as ram-jet fusion engines, photonic engines, etc.)"

              -J.B.-
              Naval Imperia Designer

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              • #8
                Completely right.
                About photonics drives: I've posted it somewhere, but think need to repeat: even ideal photonic propulsion (100% light output) needs 50% of ship mass in order to accelerate to 0.6c. Pretty unrealistic, right?
                And don't forget about exterlal-prop drives, like laser powered. They cheat Cialkovsky's formula due to unmoving _engine_ (laser) and moving propulsion agent (sail). But evil guy Doppler will cease all the fun for really high speeds
                If you don't see my avatar, your monitor is incapable to display 128 bit colors.
                Stella Polaris Development Team, ex-Graphics Manager

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                • #9
                  Interesting stuff Targon, I'll look into it.
                  -J.B.-
                  Naval Imperia Designer

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                  • #10
                    Can't answer the poll as defined. "Antimatter drive" is a vague term because there are many ways to harness annihilation energies. If it simply means crashing positrons and electrons together for use in a heat engine (generator turbine, rocket, etc), then, "Yes."

                    If it means waving the term "antimatter" around to mean a mystically perfect energy source, a vision derived of fantasy rather than scientific fiction, then "No."

                    Kardashev's definitions of "planetary, stellar, and galactic" energies are equally vague. We (any interplanetary civ) will never "exhaust the energies" of our home planet. Geothermal energy from the mantle would last for billions of years simply because conversion of enthalpy into work limits the rate at which the energy can be tapped. For other fuels we will start drawing on extra-planetary sources in the foreseeable future, quantities thousands of times greater than available on a planetary surface.

                    The limits aren't on the side of how much energy is available. The limit is on how we can use the energy. Star Trek or Star Wars technologies are gauged less by the quantity of power and more on the quality of its usefulness: FTL communications and drive. No comparison can be made to rocket propulsion or other pure "hard science" speculations. If you're going to confine yourself to relativity-limited rocketry and expect to have a playable space travel aspect of the game, just shoot me now.

                    Dyson's thoughts on waste heat aren't true apart from rocketry. Look at computers. My Athlon cpu is a factor of 1500+ faster than the original 8088, but it only emits about ten times as much waste heat. The total power used by my computer (excluding monitor) is less than twice the original IBM PC.

                    Power generation and use is not as dramatic. Modern plants use cogeneration to recapture waste heat for use in industrial processing. Future power sources may themselves be less wasteful. Houses built fifty years ago had no insulation except a few inches of blown fiber in the attic; houses built in the USofA (don't know about Eur) today have more insulation than that in walls and crawl spaces. There is so much room for improvement in passive conservation it's sad.

                    Most "hard science" speculations are tainted with Malthusianism: the idea that resources and productivity make a zero-sum game. I can check out The International Society of Malthus any time I feel like beating my head against the wall, so I don't need to hear it when I'm trying to enjoy playing a game.
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                    • #11
                      Kardashev's definitions of "planetary, stellar, and galactic" energies are equally vague. We (any interplanetary civ) will never "exhaust the energies" of our home planet.
                      Good point, but the meaning is that we would exaust the energies that are needed to provide for the society and for the new applications that would be made. I hope this is a better explaination.

                      Dyson's thoughts on waste heat aren't true apart from rocketry. Look at computers. My Athlon cpu is a factor of 1500+ faster than the original 8088, but it only emits about ten times as much waste heat. The total power used by my computer (excluding monitor) is less than twice the original IBM PC.
                      Well its different when talking about energy.
                      -J.B.-
                      Naval Imperia Designer

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                      • #12
                        Ok on the 20th. this thread will be closed and the votes will be tallied. Minusing the one off of the option "yes"
                        -J.B.-
                        Naval Imperia Designer

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Straybow
                          Dyson's thoughts on waste heat aren't true apart from rocketry. Look at computers. My Athlon cpu is a factor of 1500+ faster than the original 8088, but it only emits about ten times as much waste heat. The total power used by my computer (excluding monitor) is less than twice the original IBM PC.
                          You also need to count energy resourses required to produce your beloved Atholon (long live AMD, BTW ). Net energy consuptions are always rising, both planetary and domestic-wise. People always find a way to waste energy, believe me. And you can't recycle any energy in fact, due to second thermodynamics law.
                          If you don't see my avatar, your monitor is incapable to display 128 bit colors.
                          Stella Polaris Development Team, ex-Graphics Manager

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                          • #14
                            Ok the post is hereby closed. Hopefully a moderator will come and close it. The Antimatter Drive stands as a "NO" in the game.
                            -J.B.-
                            Naval Imperia Designer

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