So I was recently working on my story's fluff (lore), however, there's a problem with the science part. The D-Engine, a nigh unlimited "source of energy".

Additional information:

  • The D-Engine is used by a type-III civilization.
  • One of the main plot points of the story is that the universe is in an endless cycle of death and rebirth and nobody knows why.

Here are the criteria:

The D-engine can...

  • ...Provide finite amounts of energy for possibly infinite amounts of time. (If the Big Crunch theory is true)

  • ...Provide enough energy for the user to pull off around Ramiel-level acts of badasness(demonstrated in the video)(, but can be scaled).

The D-Engine can't...

  • ...Create energy.

The D-Engine never should...

Distance shouldn't matter, the energy gets transferred relatively quickly.

Note: the universe of this world is a match to the real one in its rules of physics. (at least what we currently know about them)


  • No pseudo-science.
  • No handwavium.

What I need help in:

  • How to keep a wormhole alive long enough to use it.
  • Pointing out and fixing potential problems in the concept.
  • (optional: alternative concepts, that pass the rules and the criteria)

Feel free to focus on ONE problem at a time.

My version:

(mood painting music)
"The D-Engine is a special form of a Dyson swarm that harvests energy from various points of the universe and condenses it into anti-matter the same matter that keeps the wormhole open between the swarm and the receivers, the part where it get's used. Because of this working method, there is a taboo. The harvest of quantum fields, for what could the consequences of tampering with a possible false vacuum be."

So yes, it's a Dyson swarm, that goes around stars and collects some of their energy (via through collecting stellar wind) and uses it to create antimatter, the material with the highest energy density. Then, this material would get transferred to the receiver, that can use it. This version is still problematic, mainly due to the fact, that the transfer method of choice is the wormhole which is hypothetical and we don't exactly know, how to keep them open for prolonged periods of time.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I think you may underestimate how long an infinite amount of time is. Neither of your versions get remotely close to even thinking about accomplishing this goal. Would you rather we target technologies more like your two examples, or are you looking for us to actually make good on an infinity? $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Feb 16, 2017 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ @CortAmmon Technically, by infinity I meant if they jump through the death of the universe part (maybe time travel) and avoid being destroyed, theoretically, they can do it. (self-repair, etc...) However, it's not so possible, technically. $\endgroup$ Feb 16, 2017 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ @CortAmmon Also, a machine for infinity is not the main goal, feel free to ignore it. $\endgroup$ Feb 16, 2017 at 21:07
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @RedactedRedacted I'm sorry, but how is your version not pseudo-science or condensed handwavium? $\endgroup$
    – AngelPray
    Feb 16, 2017 at 21:29
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Hello and welcome to Worldbuilding. To be honest: our question is kind of a mess. It contains — self-describedly so — lots of "fluff" like irrelevant YouTube links; it is unstructured, with thoughts and concepts just added into a big pile; it focuses more on trying to sound cool than to provide useful information ("Rulez"? "Badassness"? No, that is just silly); and then it climaxes with, if I may paraphrase: "The question is: what is the answer to my question?". You need to structure this a bit better and — quite frankly — cut out the fluff. (continued) $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Feb 17, 2017 at 13:41

3 Answers 3


You know that big old supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy? Yeah. That.

The basic idea is to get as much matter as possible into orbit around a black hole and then slowly feed matter into the core, leaching energy from both the accretion disk (galactic disk) and the radiation pouring from the black hole itself. For maximum longevity you should make sure that all the matter is cold and in a fairly stable orbit. Ideally you want an outer ring of hydrogen, then a set of fusion reactors, then an inner ring of helium, then more fusion reactors, all the way down to an inner core of iron lumps. The final stage of energy release is to feed your iron lumps to the black hole in the middle of the galaxy and skim off the radiated heat and radiation. Carefully aligning the orbits of the various parts of the galactic disk will let you fine tune the rate of energy release as the outer rings get moved inwards

You'll also want to make sure you sterilise everything in case any nasty entropy causing humanoids come along and break your finely-tuned galactic engine. Oh, and watch out for other galaxies. You can steal their reckless overuse of energy (Look at their inefficient 'stars', wasting all that lovely fusion energy!) to help you move their heavier elements and highly compressed matter into the ideal orbits (accounting for gravitational perturbations, of course). Remember to sterilise all other lifeforms to make sure you're the last one left.

This will get you as close to an infinite amount of time as you can reasonably get. Though you might be hastening the end of the universe by doing it you'll be making sure that you're the last supermassive black hole left at the end of the universe, and we all know that in the long run he who rations energy the best wins the game of thermodynamics.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thx. And according to the fluff, the universe, where the story takes place is not the first and definitely not the last. Maybe Big crunch, maybe the Big rip causing virtual particles to become real. I'm unsure. $\endgroup$ Feb 16, 2017 at 21:29
  • $\begingroup$ @RedactedRedacted ...Just like everybody else on this planet, okay the virtual particle becomes real is very likely to be quack. $\endgroup$ Feb 16, 2017 at 21:43

Don't even try.

That's really your best bet. What you are trying to do runs so afowl of physics that it's better to drop the science-based tag and handwave it away.

Fundamentally energy cannot be created nor destroyed. It is also recognized that "usable" energy is always decreasing as entropy increases. Thus, there is literally not a way to provide a non-infinitesimal amount of power for an infinite amount of time without relying on a universe that has infinite energy to start with.

If you want to stretch the limits of physics until they beg for mercy, consider a solution which involves time traveling to the beginning of the universe and "borrowing" the energy from there. If you handwave enough, you could have the borrowing process adjust the constants of the universe such that when you measure the energy, it appears to be an infinite source, when in actuality you're just shrinking your measuring stick as fast as you siphon energy away.

This is very similar to a false vacuum decay, except it is done intentionally in a metastable way to avoid the usual runaway issues which come up when you don't have enough handwavium to control how the vacuum decay occurs. It's intentionally controlling it in a way which gives the illusion of the universe never changing, when in fact you're pilfering its pockets.

And yes, you said no handwavium.... and yes, I'm still using it anyways.

  • $\begingroup$ Knock knock, haven't you read the "(if the Big crunch theory is true)" part? $\endgroup$ Feb 18, 2017 at 9:21
  • $\begingroup$ @RedactedRedacted No I hadn't, beacuse this answer was posted before you added that. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Feb 18, 2017 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ Take a look at the earliest edit or the original. $\endgroup$ Feb 18, 2017 at 19:31

I agree with @Cort Ammon. The question is asking for no handwaving or fake science while asking to power something for infinity while having a finite source. The finite source would have to be ridiculously massive to last a long long time but still, since it is FINITE, it will run out EVENTUALLY...As cort said energy is never created nor destroyed, it is simply transferred. The really only plausible way for this to work would be to make it like a rechargeable battery. The D-engine activates it's recharge from the solar power or some other form to draw the energy in but if the engine is going to be a nonrenewable finite source it's virtually impossible to have something of finite limits charge for infinity.

The discharge and decay of energy over time also plays a factor. Batteries die regardless if you use them or not due to the radio active decay. Different elements have different half life but the result is still the same. After a couple years, a battery will die from just sitting on the shelf. You simply cannot hold 100% of the energy without decay without handwaving or fake science and that alone debunks the concept because regardless if you use minimal amount of energy from the engine or not, the decay rate alone will still make the engine eventually useless.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .