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Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 The Harvard Club of the Netherlands invites you to a popular lecture by Nobel prize winner.

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Presentation on theme: "Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 The Harvard Club of the Netherlands invites you to a popular lecture by Nobel prize winner."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 The Harvard Club of the Netherlands invites you to a popular lecture by Nobel prize winner Prof. Dr. Gerard ’t Hooft Science ≠ fiction

3 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 Gerard ’t Hooft Utrecht University and

4 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007

5 Cassini – Huygens mission

6 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 Foundations of Modern Science

7 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007

8 What modern science has taught us: There are very strict rules The rules can be derived from what is NOT possible: ● Energy is conserved: 1) No energy out of nothing 2) No energy out of heat ! Unless there are temperature differences ! ● All masses generate the same gravitational force Anti-gravity is not possible !

9 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 ● There are speed limits ! 1) The speed of sound 2)The speed of light Air: 344 m/sec Copper: 3100 m/sec Stone: 5971 m/sec m/sec

10 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 The speed of sound is approximately the limit of all velocities that can be obtained using chemical substances only:

11 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 The Earth’s escape velocity is approximately 11 km /sec The exhaust velocity in most rockets is limited by approx. 3 km/sec To reach Earth orbit, you need about 9 km/sec

12 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 The same numbers are decisive for the concept of a space elevator The limiting factor is the strength of a tether relative to its weight It is expressed in terms of GigaPascal / specific weight, or Newton meter / kg Steel: 154 kNM/kg = 392 m/sec ² Nanotubes: 48,462 kNm/kg = 7 km/sec ²

13 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 Consisting of carbon atoms only Nano tubes

14 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 The space elevator tethered satellites Catapulting spacecraft to higher velocities But never velocity differences much beyond the sound velocity of a few km / sec Also the wheels of an automobile would explode if you would drive faster than that... Applications of tethers:

15 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 To reach much greater velocities in space, you must use nuclear propellants (or solar energy if you can...) The characteristic velocities in nuclear reactions is one tenth of the speed of light... Freeman Dyson

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17 A black hole

18 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 Important restrictions: Space travel: people will probably never be able to travel faster than approx km/sec, a lot slower than light velocity... ! “Space-warp” will remain fiction forever.... Black holes are no “worm holes” The mass would have to exceed solar masses (so you can’t bring them along in your space ship), and even if... Communication and transport to other stars (than our sun) will remain problematic. Black hole diameter is proportional to its mass One solar mass = 3 km. Velocity of light = km / sec

19 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 What fantastic things can we still imagine without clashing with science ? Information technology Truly intelligent computers do not contradict any of our present knowledge – it is just difficult ! The IT revolution has only just started !

20 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 The basic units in computer chips can still become a lot smaller – and faster !

21 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 Richard Feynman, 1959, APS CalTech: “There is plenty of Room at the Bottom!”

22 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 The information period has only barely begun Computer software and hardware can become a lot better and faster Computers can become intelligent, indeed a lot more intelligent than humans... Robots (automated machines, controlled by computers), may become tiny and universal, but: if they are tiny, their vision will be very bad... ! Moore’s Law

23 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 Will NANO TECHNOLOGY determine our future?

24 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 A proteine and DNA 10 nm

25 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 The Human Genome Genetic engineering offers fantastic possibilities in the future Food water energy space colonization

26 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 How will space be colonized ?

27 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 The Solar System Can we go there ? The Moon: days Mars: 8 months Asteroids: ~ 1 year Jupiter moons ~ 2 years ? Saturnus moons ~ 3 years ? Then: Uranus, Neptune, etc. Pluto and beyond ?

28 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 Our motives: curiosity and expansionism But human colonization will only happen if affordable ! SF authors perhaps underestimate: the Mediathe Internet To keep funding agencies interested For essential information remotely controlled machines (robots) Human Colonization...

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33 The first colonies will be small and under ground... Glass can be made on any planet Ice is also a magnificent building material The Lunar hotel

34 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 John von Neumann: Robots can reproduce themselves. Robots can become semi-intelligent. Self-reproduction and intelligence are not possible today but not forbidden by science ! Neumannbots

35 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 Travelling to the stars will take thousands or millions of years But perhaps living oranisms can be spread and cultivated. Humans of flesh and blood will not be interested in such long-lasting trips To the stars ?

36 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 Our science is also the science for intelligent creatures elsewhere in the Universe if these creatures exist at all, they will be subject to the same limitations therefore, we should not expect visits by creatures of flesh and blood But their neumannbots might be able to reach us they haven’t done so yet.

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38 Are neumannbots dangerous ? Not if we adhere to some fundamental principles. Read Richard Dawkins All “evolutions” must be orchestrated from one central point (on Earth) Then all neumannbots will be genetically identical. They behave like termites. The “queen” stays on Earth.

39 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 Cassini

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43 Atomic nucleus electron More than x greater distance ! Matter as we know it: atoms

44 Harvard Club, Sociëteit de Witte, Den Haag, March 22, 2007 Proton Neutron Quarks Atomic nucleus

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