Re: Dyson shell redux

From: Ken Clements (
Date: Sat Mar 17 2001 - 20:55:22 MST

Here is my shot at shell design:

I base this on what I call Hyper Orbital Velocity Mass or HOVM. Suppose you
wanted to build a really big particle accelerator ring in empty space. You
could envision a ring of big beam turning magnets that are each quite far from
each other. A problem with this is that when you turn on the beam, it will
produce a force against the steering magnets which will cause them to move away
from each other, enlarging the ring. The solution is, of course, to build this
somewhere where the magnets can orbit something (the easier case anyway) and cut
the orbital velocity of the magnets to match the outward force exerted by the
beam. Well, as the particle beam has more mass, and that mass is made to go
faster, the orbital velocity of the ring of magnets can be made less and less.

This principal can be extrapolated to support a spherical shell around a central
mass. I suggest mag lev mass drivers in place of the particle beams because
subatomic particles radiate photons like mad when you turn them, but it is the
same idea. You would build a shell within which mass is driven at hyper orbital
velocity in all directions, perhaps in tubes. The interwoven tubes are worked
out such that the HOVM inside them will result in a net zero angular momentum
for the sphere.

By the way, the HOVM need not be dead mass. There is nothing to keep that from
being some kind of functional devices, trucking systems, or even whole mini
worlds. It just needs to keep moving around the inside of the sphere. (Reminds
me of the old circus motorcycle loop the loop stunt.)

Given that this idea produces a stationary sphere, you need some means of
keeping the star in position. Given a reasonable system to move heat around the
shell, you could do this by redistribution of the waste heat that you are
radiating into deep space. If you want to move a hemisphere closer to the star,
you would increase the waste heat radiation on that side to increase the photon
recoil thrust, which would start moving the shell.

I do not know if this kind of structure has been proposed yet, but if so, I am
sure you will let me know.


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