The ultimate solar power
The Doctor uses the energy of a star to power the TARDIS (more about this on page 30), but can humans truly tap into such solar energy potentials? If we wanted to harness the full energy of a star, we would need to create what is known as a Dyson sphere. In 1960, scientist Freeman Dyson first described the concept of a network of solar panels to completely envelop a star and tap into its immense energy output. The solar mega structure of a Dyson sphere, or shell, would theoretically comprise of millions of individual solar panel satellites capable of capturing, storing and transmitting the energy back to Earth for use. However, in order to construct such an array around a Sun-like star, we would require more material than currently exists in our entire Solar System!
Could we harness the power of a star and create a new civilisation around it?