The Philosophy of Starship Physics: The Exploration of Interstellar and Intergalactic Space

The Philosophy of Starship Physics: The Exploration of Interstellar and Intergalactic Space The Philosophy of Starship Physics: The Exploration of Interstellar and Intergalactic Space
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    BIS, 27/29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ, UK

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Speaker: Kelvin Long

Date: 25 February 2020

Start Time: 19:00

End Time: 20:30

Venue: BIS, 27/29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ

interstellarThe ability to send a space probe beyond the Voyager probes, through the interstellar medium and towards the distant stars, has long been the ambition of both the science fiction literature and a small community of advocates that have argued for a broader and deeper vision of space exploration that goes outside of our Solar System.

In the previous decades, much research has been conducted into the problem of interstellar flight, although little consideration has been given to intergalactic flight. In this paper, we discuss both. In particular, we discuss some intriguing observations from the fields of special and general relativity theory, cosmology and quantum mechanics to reach some philosophical conclusions about the nature of the Universe, and the role of human beings within it. In particular, the limitations of the speed of light, the vast scale of the Universe which appears to be unnecessarily large for our use, and the probabilistic nature of the quantum world. We seek to answer the questions:

  • (a) Can we travel to the nearby stars?
  • (b) Can we travel to other galaxies?
  • (c) is the purpose of the Universe merely to serve the perpetual astonishment of astronomers?

Finally, we consider the possibility of inter-dimensional flight external to our Universe, among a Multiverse or to a Hyperspace beyond.

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About the speaker: Kelvin Long FBIS

Kelvin F Long is a physicist and aerospace engineer. He was also the co-founder of the US non-profit Icarus Interstellar, as well as the UK not-for-profit the Initiative for Interstellar Studies and its US counterpart the Institute for Interstellar Studies. He is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and the past Chief Editor of its technical journal JBIS. He was the originator of the BIS Project Icarus, the successor initiative to Project Daedalus and has also conducted research on most other interstellar propulsion related fields. He is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Physics. He is also an author having published books such as ‘Deep Space Propulsion: A Roadmap to Interstellar Flight’ and also ‘Beyond the Boundary: Exploring the Science and Culture of Interstellar Spaceflight’. He has worked for a dozen years to advocate for the subject of interstellar studies and is a member of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory led 1000 AU interstellar probe project, in addition to serving since 2016 as a member of the Breakthrough Initiatives Project Starshot Advisory Committee. Although this work continues he is also now also working on theories of quantum gravity, cosmology, consciousness and spirituality, in addition to conducting research into ancient civilisations from Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica, as a part of an ambitious attempt to build a universal synthesis of understanding for the nature of reality. In addition to the investment company Terra Altair Ltd that he heads up, he is also the Research Director for the Interstellar Research Centre, the research division of Stellar Engines Ltd.