Using Quantum Mechanics, We Can Reach Foreign Stars in a Human Lifetime
A nonprofit dedicated to researching the science and technology needed to travel vast distances across the cosmos says lasers can be used to harvest antimatter from the vacuum of space.
What's the Latest Development?
Icarus Interstellar Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to enabling interstellar flight by 2100, believes quantum mechanics may hold the key to a propulsion system capable of traversing the immense distances of space within a human lifetime. Contrary to classical physics, which states the that vacuum of space is essentially empty, quantum mechanics describes it as a place buzzing with energy. Using lasers to create a powerful electrical field, electron-positron pairs can be created from the vacuum space itself. Such a technique could be used to farm and store vast amounts of energy capable of propelling a mission to another star or planetary system.
What's the Big Idea?
The principle obstacle to interstellar space travel is the distance humans would have to cross to study another star or planet outside our solar system up close. "Voyager 1, launched in 1977, is the furthest manmade object from Earth, and travels at over 10 miles per second (36,000 mph). Even traveling at this incredible speed, it would take just over 70,000 years to reach the closest star to our solar system." Icarus Interstellar's ultimate goal is to design deep-space missions that could be completed within the time frame of a professional scientist's career.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
Lauren Miranda sent a nude selfie to a boyfriend years ago. Somehow one of her students discovered it.
- Math teacher Lauren Miranda was fired from her Long Island school when a topless selfie surfaced.
- Miranda had only shared the photo with her ex-boyfriend, who is also a teacher in the school district.
- She's suing the school for $3 million as well as getting her job back, citing gender discrimination.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.