My Advanced Alien Civilisation has the ability control the rate of fusion within a star. They do so by selectively (and very gradually!) altering the electron degeneracy pressure of regions within the star in a handwavium-based process.

Now this technology can also be used to achieve nucleosynthesis and eventually to create black holes from non-stellar quantities of matter.

The question is, (broadly speaking) have I missed any other potential applications of this technology? I don't need specifics; I'm just trying to make sure I've covered all bases.


closed as too broad by a CVn, Aify, T3 H40, JDSweetBeat, Hohmannfan Apr 13 '16 at 18:26

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ How does this effect acheive the two effects you do mention? $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Apr 13 '16 at 8:41
  • $\begingroup$ @JDługosz Electron degeneracy pressure and a few other quantum-mechanical effects is what prevents stars from undergoing gravitational collapse until they reach a certain mass. So by decreasing it, you can compress matter further and achieve fusion at lower energy levels. $\endgroup$ – Scott Downey Apr 13 '16 at 9:20
  • $\begingroup$ Generally speaking, "what can I use X for?" is too broad because the set of potential answers is large, possibly unbounded, and this is exacerbated by the fact that there are no real criteria in the question based on which we can judge how well an answer actually answers the question. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Apr 13 '16 at 18:19
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    $\begingroup$ This isn't at all how stars work. Electron degeneracy pressure becomes important only when stars collapse. It doesn't affect fusion rates. Additionally, in most stars, there is no electron degenerate matter. Cores may become partially degenerate in stars entering giant branches, but that doesn't influence fusion rates much, especially as temperature (which influences fusion rates) doesn't play a part in the equation of state for degenerate electrons. The additional applications you list (nucleosynthesis, black holes) also don't make much sense. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Apr 13 '16 at 20:56
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    $\begingroup$ I have 2 words for you - "Extinction Event". $\endgroup$ – WhatRoughBeast Apr 14 '16 at 3:57

extend star lifespan

If an extraterrestrial race is worried about surviving beyond the normal death of the universe, they could use this tech to make a giant star burn longer than any red dwarf (ignoring the big-rip problem).

smaller ring world

By taking a giant or a dwarf star and giving it a yellow color you can decide the radius of the habitable zone.
This mean you can make a ringwolrd exactly the size you want. Smaller to make it more managable or bigger to make it more... well... more big

  • $\begingroup$ As I noted above in a comment to the question, electron degeneracy pressure will not affect fusion rates in a star. I'm not sure I understand the second part (e.g. "a giant of a dwarf star"). Could you clarify a bit? Thanks. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Apr 13 '16 at 20:57

Adjusting electron degeneracy could also have mechanical properties, allowing your alien race to make improbably strong materials to build mega engineering projects like Larry Niven Ringworlds. Altering the properties of materials might also make computing substrates much more efficient, so building planetary sized "Matrioshka brains" could be easier (or even small matrioshka brains the size of the Moon would match conventional "Jupiter sized" matrioshka brains).

Depending on how focused the effect is, fusion reactors could be made arbitrarily small (the Mr Fusion at the end of "Back to the Future" rather than the aircraft carrier sized ITER device), and exotic nuclear fuels farther up the curve of binding energy could also be exploited.


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