Register Lecture: Space Invaders and spamming the Final Frontier
Smart strategies for ambitious humans
Elon Musk dreams of life on Mars, but why stop there? Why not dream really big? What would it take for a group of creatures – not necessarily those living on Earth – to colonise the entire universe?
Quite apart from the obvious problems – such as building suitable spacecraft, and the long lifespan potentially needed by a crew to travel such vast distances – one major factor could be getting enough energy to both power such an expedition and withstand collisions with interstellar gravel. But there might also be other issues for the would-be coloniser.
Enter the Fermi paradox – "Where is everybody?" Physicist Enrico Fermi, father of the nuclear reactor, in the 1950s noted that given the age and size of the universe there should exist a number of parallel civilisations. No contact means either no aliens – or that the job is too big.
Scientists have since sought to untangle the paradox – among them, Anders Sandberg of the Future Humanity Institute of Oxford University.
Join Anders at our 22 May Register lecture to hear his latest work calculating what it would take for a "technologically mature" civilisation to conduct ongoing, large-scale settlement of the universe – and to do so "quickly" using a fleet of craft.
Anders, a Reg lecture veteran, will discuss the most mathematically efficient strategy for conquering space, the demands it would create, and whether the cost would be prohibitive or minuscule. Would you deplete your home world's resources in the race for space or could the worlds you settle provide exponential supplies? Could you own space in just a few hours?
Join us to talk fusion, fission and spamming the universe with a fleet of craft, and to basically thank the maths gods we haven't yet heard from real space invaders.
Conversation is scheduled for take off at the Rugby Tavern, 19 Great James St, London, WC1N 3ES. Launch-bay doors open at 18:30 with Anders taking the floor at 19:00. An audience question-and-answer session will follow a break for vital supplies.
Get your tickets here. ®