|Bernard M. Oliver|
|Born||May 27, 1916|
|Died||November 23, 1995
Santa Clara, California, U.S.
|Known for||Pulse-code modulation|
|Notable awards||National Medal of Science (1986)
National Inventors Hall of Fame
Years of science fiction have produced a mindset that it is human destiny to expand from Earth, to the Moon, to Mars, to the stars.
Above all, I would not expect a wise race, at great expense, to set loose an army of self-replicating robots.
It would be a pity if, frustrated by the price of travel, we elected to become a society that never made contact, that never gave SETI a fair chance.
The sun and its retinue of planets drift as a group through the vast gulfs of space that separate the stars.
If interstellar travel is as time- or energy- demanding as the above figures indicate, it is far from obvious what the motive for colonization might be.
In the past, on Earth, it has largely been to exploit foreign resources and to expand the domestic territory.
Present annual world energy consumption is about equal to the annihilation energy of 4 tons of matter.
Antimatter is not a source of energy for us, it's a method of storing energy, compact but inefficient.
The factor most ignored in discussing interstellar flight is the kinetic energy that must be invested in the ship to make its tons of matter move at a substantial fraction of the speed of light.