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Why Should You, or Anyone Else Who Cares About Space Travel And Why You Should to Learn Physics?

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Written by   82
1 month ago

There are many reasons why you should want to learn physics. It’s an incredible subject, and it’s a great way to understand the world around us. But there is one reason in particular that I would like to talk about today: space travel.

The idea of being able to go into space fascinates me for a number of reasons. I think it’s so cool how we can use gravity as our friend instead of something that tries to kill us all the time, and how we can live off other planets if Earth becomes uninhabitable someday, but my favorite thing about people who work on space travel is their dedication and passion for what they do.

They have this intense drive which has lead them all over the world, pushing the boundaries of science and human capability, in order to find a way to get us off this planet.

Until now, it seems we have been limited only by our imagination when it comes to space travel. Arthur C. Clarke once said that as soon as physical laws cease to be a hindrance, the possibilities are infinite. The problem is that the closer you look at physics…the more familiar it all becomes.

And while there are several ways that might one day lead us into space (like von Kármán's rockets or Hawking radiation), they all seem like they’re just around the corner—physically speaking.

The reason why I can’t help but feel disappointed with current research isn't because I think they’re not doing their jobs. They are pros who are working every day to make a difference a positive change in human history for the better.

It's because I want to see more people like myself involved: people with the guts and passion to dream up ideas of how we can escape our gravity well and head off into the deep unknown, but at the same time don't give up if those ideas aren’t perfect or practical.

We need dreamers with that drive, even if all their ideas won’t work, because one of them just might be able to get us between solar systems someday!

But what if we just give up on trying to do space travel only using physics?

What if a large enough breakthrough in physics doesn’t come along and we decide that we don’t have the time, money, or resources to wait for it? Are there other ways of doing this?

Scientists like Michio Kaku are looking towards more science fiction like ideas such as manipulating gravity with wormholes created by black holes to instantly transport people from one point in space to another. It may be possible someday, but I think that idea has a lot of problems.

For instance, how would you make sure no one falls into the black hole before their ships completely pass through? And when those ships enter and exit the black hole, where do those ships go? They need to come out in a completely different area of space. Meaning that wormholes don’t only transport you great distances, they also teleport you from one place to another. That sounds pretty useful for getting around the galaxy…and if we had them now, I'm sure people wouldn't mind. But then what would be the point of colonizing other planets?

But another idea that has been brought up before is building a structure in space a sort of “space elevator” made by connecting two points on Earth with an extremely long cable and pulling it upwards into orbit.

When this was first proposed in 1895 by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (who also suggested using rockets to get into orbit long before they were actually built), people said that such a structure would be impossible. Tsiolkovsky argued back that the only thing holding it against Earth was gravity, and since we know what gravity does on large scales (like hold our atmosphere in place around us), this shouldn’t have been very difficult to imagine.

The problem is still with us today; we don't have all the materials required to do something like this, nor do we really know how to build something big enough or strong enough especially when you consider the energy requirements needed to pull it upwards at a speed fast enough not to fall back down again.

This idea of an elevator has been brought up so many times over the years that now people use it as a joke a possible solution to any problem. I first heard about the elevator idea when reading “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, and even then, Douglas Adams(SciFi writer) didn't really want people to take it seriously.

But if there are no other options for getting out into space except continuing with hope that we might one day learn how to do it using physics…then maybe we need to actually build this elevator! It was brought up again recently by Robert L. Forward in his book "Indistinguishable from Magic" (which you can read here: https://www.bookdepository.com/Indistinguishable-from-Magic-Robert-L-Forward/9780671876869?ref=grid-view&qid=1629814013295&sr=1-4)

Forward suggests that we might just be able to build it using superconductors instead of the ultra-strong but extremely heavy carbon nanotubes or the even stronger but impossible to find materials previously mentioned as a possibility by others.

The use of superconductors would not only allow us to make a structure with a higher strength-to-weight ratio but also allow it to move up towards space without needing any outside source of power (like rockets). And if we built something strong enough, maybe we could put electromagnetic engines on top so that once in orbit, it can stay up there and travel around the Earth (this was originally proposed by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1895).

When we first begin building this elevator, I'm sure there will be a lot of people who think it's impossible. But when they see how it works, I think most people would believe that since “E=mc^2”( relatively ), then maybe an elevator might not be too far fetched after all! :)

Thanks Again for Reading Cheers!!! Images from Pixabay

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Comments

I don't notice the prospects of life in space or other planets. I am more interested in how to save the planet we live on. Instead of looking for new planets in order to live, researches should be made on how to save the existing planet. Maybe I can think about space for once, because it has no gravity in order to get rid of the weights of life and to become lighter. haha

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1 month ago

That is really indeed make sense. I had watch series "The 100" which all humans are now living in the outer space by of course studying Physics. Who knows what future bring to us. Thanks for this!

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1 month ago

hey @buraryang1892, Thank's for your kind comments on these articles. I am glad that you found them interesting and informative.

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1 month ago

Aweee. I love your article. You're most welcome too 🙂. To have more writings like this 🙂

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1 month ago