[ExI] Freeman Dyson is dead

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Tue Mar 3 05:44:06 UTC 2020

John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:

> Freeman Dyson has died at the age of 96. He didn't just dream up the Dyson
Sphere he was a great physicist and wrote a number of wonderful books.

There is a story about one of his books where I was involved.

I met Freeman at one of the early Space Manufacturing conferences. He
was deeply involved and friends with fellow physics professor GK
O'Neill  At the1979 Conf, I talked him into asking his publisher to
let the L5 News print the chapter "Pilgrims, Saints, and Spacemen"
from his about to be published book _Disturbing the Universe_.  If you
don't have a copy handy, it is here:
https://space.nss.org/media/L5-News-1979-08.pdf/  It is the first
story in the issue.

Dyson made a case in that chapter that the previous colonization
models would not work for O'Neill's space colonies because the
transportation cost was about 300 times too much to be self-funded. If
you took his analysis seriously, it took away much of the personal
motivation people had for space colonies.

A few years ago (2016) he was in residence at UCSD.  At the time the
Beamed Energy Bootstrapping animation was new so I took it to his
office and showed it to him.  He was not much impressed.


PS  The connection would be remote if at all, but one of my great
grandmothers was a Dyson.


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