Re: Set the controls for the heart of the Sun

Anders Sandberg (
Sat, 16 Aug 1997 21:45:23 +0200 (MET DST)

On Fri, 15 Aug 1997, Carl Feynman wrote:

> One of the problems with using the Sun for heat and pressure is that it is
> very springy: any increase in fusion rate at the center will increase the
> pressure, which will cause the Sun to expand, which will cool the gas,
> causing the heat production to slow. You can get around this by mixing some
> lead with the fusion fuel, forming degenerate matter, which does not expand
> when the temperature increases, and is also a good insulator at these
> temperatures, so the heat will tend to stay confined in the bomb until
> burning is complete.

A nice idea, but unfortunately the lead is the problem: where do you
get enough lead to encase the fusion bomb?

> 99% of the Sun's helium-3 was down below
> the layer we could reach before. Now it will be brought up to the surface,
> where we can build the grandmother of all fusion bombs with it. This one is
> about the size of Uranus. We drop that in, wait a few weeks, and KABOOM!
> The Sun is history.

I like this two-stage approach, maybe we should look at stars which
first brighten a bit, and then go nova...

OK, I have to admit that this scheme is a bit too conservative (in
the Drexler sense :-) for me, I dislike blowing things up since so
much can go wrong. So when I notice that you are starting to buy lead
and neon extraction equipment, several copies of me will be heading
for the stars as fast as their ships can go :-)

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y