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Proceedings Paper

Dyson shells: a retrospective
Author(s): Robert J. Bradbury
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Paper Abstract

More than 40 years have passed since Freeman Dyson suggested that advanced technological civilizations are likely to dismantle planets in their solar systems to harvest all of the energy their stars wastefully radiate into space. Clearly this was an idea that was ahead of its time. Since that time, dozens of SETI searches have been conducted and almost all of them have focused their attention on stars which by definition cannot be the advanced civilizations that Dyson envisioned. I will review the data that created the confusion between Dyson spheres and Dyson shells. The sources that disprove Dyson spheres while still allowing Dyson shells will be discussed. The use of outmoded ideas that have biased the few searches for Dyson Shells that have occurred will be pointed out. An update of the concept of Dyson shells to include our current knowledge of biotechnology, nanotechnology and computer science will be explored. Finally, an approach to setting limits on the abundance of Dyson shells in our galaxy using existing optical astronomical data and future optical satellites will be proposed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 August 2001
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4273, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the Optical Spectrum III, (3 August 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.435373
Show Author Affiliations
Robert J. Bradbury, Aeiveos Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4273:
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the Optical Spectrum III
Stuart A. Kingsley; Ragbir Bhathal, Editor(s)

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