Physicist and software developer Charles J. Quarra has been announced as a speaker for Icarus Interstellar’s 2013 Starship Congress, with a talk titled “The Laser Star Way: A Light Bridge to the closest Stars.”
Mr. Quarra was influenced early on in his life by two books: The Science in Science Fiction by Peter Nicholls, and The Cosmic Connection by Carl Sagan. Among the phenomena that are ubiquitous in science fiction, artificial intelligence and wormhole engineering intrigued him the most. This latter led him to eventually obtain a degree in theoretical and mathematical physics from Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela. However, as it turned out, wormholes proved to be a harder nut to crack than he anticipated, so he moved on to a career as a programmer and software developer. Still, from time to time he goes back to the problem of fast interstellar travel in his spare time.
In his Starship Congress talk, The Laser Star Way: A Light Bridge to the closest Stars, Mr. Quarra will address questions such as – must the wheel always precede the road? And, what if, in order to reach for the nearest stars, we first have to develop a kind of interstellar highway for the ships to travel on?
In addition, Mr. Quarra’s talk will analyze the basic feasibility of a stable chain of equidistant optical laser relays, forwarding laser power between two stars as a way to provide beamed power to interstellar ships travelling along the entire length of the flight. Among other aspects, the engineering challenges of manufacturing and maintaining such interstellar highways will be discussed.