Dyson spheres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


I review the origins and development of the idea of Dyson spheres, their purpose, their engineering, and their detectability. I explicate the ways in which the popular imagining of them as monolithic objects would make them dynamically unstable under gravity and radiation pressure, and mechanically unstable to buckling. I develop a model for the radiative coupling between a star and large amounts of material orbiting it, and connect the observational features of a star plus Dyson sphere system to the gross radiative properties of the sphere itself. I discuss the still-unexplored problem of the effects of radiative feedback on the central star's structure and luminosity. Finally, I discuss the optimal sizes of Dyson spheres under various assumptions about their purpose as sources of low-entropy emission, dissipative work, or computation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalSerbian Astronomical Journal
Issue number200
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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