Dark matter has always been an enigma, at least as we know of. We can see the marks of its presence everywhere we focus on wide cosmic ranges. Even though we cannot yet identify it, and we don’t know for sure what its certain features are, dark matter seems like an enormous promise for the future of the human race. This mysterious material could be an excellent fuel that will make humans’ interstellar visions come true.
Whenever humans planned to explore the space, the laws of physics cannot be avoided. To accelerate a spaceship or anything else for that matter, you need to transmit an impulse to it, so it changes its momentum.
In a standard rocket, that push is generated by rocket fuel that suffers a combustion reaction, which creates impulse in the form of thrust. Even though this is the best technique humanity has designed for space travel until now, it is incredibly limiting.
To create thrust, the stored chemical energy has to be converted into kinetic energy that accelerates the spacecraft. The key to generating lots of thrusts is fuel efficiency. A simple way to understand this is to look at Einstein’s most famous calculation: E = mc². If one has a proper fuel, it will transform 100 percent of the fuel’s mass into energy, permitting them to generate the most efficient fuel possible.
Dark Matter As Fuel For Rockets Would Fly Us To Distant Stars
If we look at things differently, there is another solution to interstellar travel that could, theoretically, work. Rather than bringing the fuel along, one could collect it as they traveled. Usually, such ideas include enormous magnetic fields that absorb charged particles into a ‘trap’ in the spaceship, allowing one to merge nuclei and electrons where they can then withdraw energy and carry out further reactions with it.
Talking of which, dark matter provides an immense benefit over the ordinary matter because one doesn’t have to anything to gather it. Also, it is practically everywhere in the galaxy. The perfect configuration would be to use matter-antimatter extermination, which is 100 percent energy effective. The downside of this action, however, asks for intensive work and energy to generate a tiny amount of antimatter.
Of course, E = mc² might be the most effective method to withdraw energy from mass, as it is perfect efficiency. However, even if one manages to take and store the antimatter successfully and exterminate it only at the precise moment, one still has a limited amount of fuel that needed an unimaginable amount of energy to gather.
This is why the dark matter fuel source is so attractive. It is an unlimited resource, and it might also be that ideal, 100 percent efficient matter-to-energy transformation potential. Because dark matter is literally everywhere, one wouldn’t have to transport it while traveling through space. Handling dark matter is the enterprise that might make humanity’s dreams come true.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.