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


LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Wealth inequality is literally killing us. The economy should work for everyone.

This economy has us in survival mode, stressing out our bodies and minds.

Videos
  • Economic hardship is linked to physical and psychological illness, resulting in added healthcare expenses people can't afford.
  • The gig economy – think Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Handy – is marketed as a 'be your own boss' revolution, but it can be dehumanizing and dangerous; every worker is disposable.
  • The cooperative business model can help reverse wealth inequality.
Keep reading Show less

The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

Image: Pew Research Center
Strange Maps
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Pixabay
Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less