3
$\begingroup$

Carbon-based life planet with a plenitude of infinite energy crystals. Could it exist?

Somehow, when my planet cooled down, there were crystals that output a fixed amount of electromagnetic radiation for a crystal of a given size, and the size to power ratio is proportional. The crystals constant radiates some constant amount of photonic energy on all frequencies, and the photonic energy per frequency is the same for every frequency.

All frequencies, means from light that has a Planck length wavelengths up to wavelengths that are the size of the observable universe. ... Having the frequency range be infinite would mean that the energy output is infinite, as a constant amount * infinity, is infinite... ... Would the given range even prevent one crystal from destroying the planet due to its energy output?

A adult-male-fist-sized chunk radiates enough energy to run an android made by our modern technology 24/7/365 at full consumption.

They weigh 1kg/m^3?

Those crystals are distributed such that life on every part of the planet would adapt to use them? (I don't know how define values for distribution...) Perhaps distributed so that no crystal is so large that it ignites anything on contact? Basically, make sure the world doesn't have constant crystal-started fires.


Could carbon-based life evolve on such a planet without its constituent molecules being destroyed by the energy output from the crystals in aggregate, assuming that it has a sun like our Sol, and is placed in a solar system so that liquid water could exist, even with the constant energy emitted by my energy crystals?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How would you like us to interpret the [hard-science] tag along side "infinite energy crystals?" The most obvious answer is "you violate the known laws of physics so completely and utterly with these crystals that no answer could ever be [hard-science]." I'm presuming you want to be able to draw the lines between where you hand-wave and where you don't? Odd answers may show up like "wait for the sun to die, then use the infinite energy to evolve the lifeforms" $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Nov 6 '15 at 7:05
  • $\begingroup$ When you say the crystals radiate on all frequencies, does that include x-ray and higher, or just near-visible light? That makes a huge difference for development of earth-like life with some DNA analogue. $\endgroup$ – Cyrus Nov 6 '15 at 7:29
  • $\begingroup$ I edited the hard-science tag away, for obvious reasons. Please feel free to add it back if you think it should still be there. $\endgroup$ – Burki Nov 6 '15 at 8:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Cyrus - All frequencies. $\endgroup$ – Malady Nov 6 '15 at 13:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ All frequencies would include every fractional frequency across the infinite number line. Depending on a number of other factors, these could either destructively interfere into something not so bad, or constructively build up into the equivalent of a coherent spherical laser death ray. Intuitively it seems it would do both periodically, as all of the frequency content cycles through the time domain. $\endgroup$ – Sean Boddy Nov 7 '15 at 17:37
2
$\begingroup$

So, if I've got this straight, you want an earth-like world that receives energy from both a Sol-like sun and from glowy crystals. The problem you percieve is that, because your earth-like world receives glowy crystal energy in addition to the sun-energy the real earth gets, your earth-like world receives more energy than the earth, and is therefore less earth-like and less conducive to earth-like life.

In order to remove this difference and make your world hospitable to earth-like life, you need to lower the amount of energy to earth-like levels. Either reduce the amount of energy your earth-like world receives from its sol-like sun (perhaps by moving the sun further away, changing the composition of the upper atmosphere, making it darker, or by putting a shadow-casting object in orbit), or add extra ways for the world to lose energy (perhaps by radiating it more readily into space or having it eaten by occasional infinite anti-energy crystals).

While the survivability of any given location will vary depending on how proximal to glowy crystals it is, this isn't really much of a change from Earth, where the survivability of any given location depends on its proximity to erupting volcanoes, liquid water, hard radiation, and countless other things that are in some places and aren't in others.

Tl;dr: Energy is energy; As long as the amount of it your planet receives per unit time is the same as the amount received by earth in the same unit of time, your planet will be Earth-like. Therefore, the less effort you put into making your world earth-like, the harder it will be for earth-like life to arise there.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ You get me! You really get me! ... If you can edit the question so more people get me, please do! $\endgroup$ – Malady Nov 6 '15 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Malandy The only way to make your question clearer, that I can think of, is to edit out the details that are irrelevant to the core of your question -which is to say, to reduce it to "My world has two sources of energy instead of one - could it evolve life?" It seems a pity to cut out so many interesting details, though, so I'll leave the editing to wiser hands. $\endgroup$ – user867 Nov 8 '15 at 22:49
1
$\begingroup$

From your edited question, I assume that you intend for a fist-sized crystal to still be powering one android at full consumption (this is a fairly awkward measure of energy, btw) but the total energy output is equally divided over the entire spectrum.

From this I'm assuming that if you stuck a crystal in a photon detector for a while, you'd have seen a few very high energy photons and on the other end many, many low energy photons, with an equal amount of energy per frequency band.

The energy balance of the planet itself is easy to fix, as user867 described: simply put the planet in a position that gives you crystal input + solar input = planet heat radiation output at liquid water surface temperature.

Primitive life

The factor that will most determine if complex, self-replicating carbon molecules (i.e. life) can develop is whether there are enough places sheltered from the high-energy radiation. As water itself blocks most frequencies quite effectively, the should be plenty of opportunities for life to start.

As this life expands, it will soon experience the radiation of nearby crystals. Radiation resistance will emerge quickly as a trait through natural selection, since life so equipped faces no competition near the crystals. Damage and mutation caused by the radiation may even speed up evolution.

In short, unless your planet is covered knee-deep in crystals, life will be able to establish a foothold and develop radiation resistance soon after.

Advanced life

Your planet will have much less sunlight than Earth, so life will develop around the crystals as they provide light and heat. Chemical processes sustained by the heat will be the primary way for life to grow until an analogue of photosynthesis develops.

At this point, you will have large bulbous blobs growing around crystals. They will spread to new crystals by spores or even by growing stalks/tentacles that can sense crystals. On top of them grow other lifeforms that live off the blobs.

Wild speculation

I can imagine the blobs may end up like Octopi with many arms and a crystal inside, or snails carrying their own crystal around. As they grow, they need to switch to bigger crystals, much like a hermit crab switches shells. They may even ingest tiny crystals around which their offspring/eggs form.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Your assumptions are precisely what I mean! If you can find better ways of describing it, please edit them in, or tell me! ... "Knee-deep in crystals" sounds ridiculously hilarious! Bravo! $\endgroup$ – Malady Nov 6 '15 at 15:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.