Below The Beltway

I believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, the economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in, and the personal freedom that America used to believe in.

Stephen Hawking: We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place

by @ 7:50 pm on November 30, 2006. Filed under Science, Space Exploration

Professor Stephan Hawking said today that humanity needs to leave Earth and venture to the stars if we are to survive:

Mankind will need to venture far beyond planet Earth to ensure the long-term survival of our species, according to the world’s best known scientist, Professor Stephen Hawking.

Mankind will need to venture far beyond planet Earth to ensure the long-term survival of our species, according to the world’s best known scientist, Professor Stephen Hawking.

(….)

“The long-term survival of the human race is at risk as long as it is confined to a single planet,” he said. “Sooner or later, disasters such as an asteroid collision or nuclear war could wipe us all out. But once we spread out into space and establish independent colonies, our future should be safe.

“There isn’t anywhere like the Earth in the solar system, so we would have to go to another star.

“If we used chemical fuel rockets like the Apollo mission to the moon, the journey to the nearest star would take 50,000 years. This is obviously far too long to be practical, so science fiction has developed the idea of warp drive, which takes you instantly to your destination. Unfortunately, this would violate the scientific law which says that nothing can travel faster than light.

“However, we can still within the law, by using matter/antimatter annihilation, and reach speeds just below the speed of light. With that, it would be possible to reach the next star in about six years, though it wouldn’t seem so long for those on board.”

The science fiction series Star Trek has used matter/antimatter annihilation as an explanation for the warp drive. But, in reality, he said that scientists believe that the flash of radiation produced when matter and antimatter are brought together and destroy one another could in fact one day be used to drive craft to close to the speed of light.

Sounds like a worthwhile project to me.

Post to Twitter Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

Comments are closed.

[Below The Beltway is proudly powered by WordPress.]