Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Megastructures 12 Nicoll-Dyson Laser
Speculative Fiction Reviewer James Davis Nicoll first proposed the Nicoll-Dyson Laser as a weapon where the satellites of a Dyson swarm surrounding a sun act as a phased array laser emitter capable of delivering their energy to a planet-sized target at a range of millions of light years.
The laser could do anything from wiping out the atmosphere on the target planet to cracking the planet in half depending on the focus of the beam (a collimated beam would be the diameter of the Dyson sphere used to generate it, whereas a focused beam could be more concentrated). Other factors that could effect the beam’s intensity include the size and energy output of the sun surrounded by the Dyson Swarm, the efficiency of the swarm’s solar energy conversion, and the amount of time the laser was pointed at the target planet.