One of the interesting ideas I first ran across in amateur fiction was the idea of weaving a bunch of Niven-style Ringworlds together to produce something with more surface area than the sci-fi interpretation of a Dyson Sphere (a hollow but solid shell around a star) and no need for “shadow squares” to create a day/night cycle.

Out of curiosity, I decided to see if I could give myself a rough estimate of the minimum amount of habitable space on such a construct. Of course, I have **no** expertise in this kind of math and I probably made a mistake or two, so any input would be greatly appreciated.

>>> import math >>> # Thanks to appropriate Wikipedia articles >>> # for the source data >>> RWWidth = 16e5 # Ringworld width in KM >>> RWCircumference = 9.7e8 # also in KM >>> RWSurface = 1.6e15 >>> EarthSurface = 510072000 >>> DysonSurface = 2.72e17 >>> MinNumberOfRings = RWCircumference / RWWidth >>> MinWeaveSurface = MinNumberOfRings * RWSurface >>> MinWeaveSurface / DysonSurface 3.5661764705882355 >>> # So the minimum surface area for this >>> # construct would give roughly 3.5 times as >>> # much surface area as a sci-fi Dyson Sphere >>> MinWeaveSurface / EarthSurface 1901692310.1052401 >>> #...and just under 2 billion times as much >>> # space as earth.

…of course, I have no clue what modifications would be necessary to produce an Earth-like night/day cycle just from the rings passing behind and in front of each other… or if it’s even possible. Entertaining thought exercise though.

Dyson Yarn-Ball Habitat by Stephan Sokolow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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