Freeman Dyson

Dyson Sphere

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Image license: CC BY-SA 2.0

Year of Birth

1923

Nationality

GB / US

Field of Knowledge

Physics

Freeman John Dyson (born 15 December 1923) is a theoretical physicist and mathematician known for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering. He is professor emeritus in the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a Visitor of Ralston College and a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.Dyson originated several concepts that bear his name, such as Dyson’s transform, a fundamental technique in additive number theory, which he developed as part of his proof of Mann’s theorem; the Dyson tree, a hypothetical genetically-engineered plant capable of growing in a comet; the Dyson series, a perturbative series where each term is represented by Feynman diagrams; the Dyson sphere, a thought experiment that attempts to explain how a space-faring civilization would meet its energy requirements with a hypothetical megastructure that completely encompasses a star and captures a large percentage of its power output; and Dyson’s eternal intelligence, a means by which an immortal society of intelligent beings in an open universe could escape the prospect of the heat death of the universe by extending subjective time to infinity while expending only a finite amount of energy. Dyson believes global warming is caused by increased carbon dioxide through burning fossil fuels, but is sceptical about the simulation models used to predict climate change, arguing that political efforts to reduce causes of climate change distract from other global problems that should take priority.

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