Very advanced civilizations could graduate from using regular stars for power and use black holes. Manufacturing of antimatter is hugely energy-inefficient, and antimatter is difficult to contain. The process of generating a Black hole from collapse is naturally efficient. It would require millions of times less energy than a comparable amount of antimatter or at least tens of thousands of times given some optimistic future antimatter generator. As to confinement, a Black hole confines itself. We would need to avoid colliding with it or losing it, but it won’t explode. Matter striking a BH would fall into it and add to its mass. So making a BH is extremely difficult, but it would not be as dangerous or hard to handle as a massive quantity of antimatter. Although the process of generating a BH is extremely massive, it does not require any new Physics.
* has a long enough lifespan to be useful,
* is powerful enough to accelerate itself up to a reasonable fraction of the speed of light in a reasonable amount of time,
* is small enough that we can access the energy to make it,
* is large enough that we can focus the energy to make it,
* has mass comparable to a starship.
A black hole weighing 606,000 metric tons would have a Schwarzschild radius of 0.9 attometers (0.9 × 10–^18 meters), a power output of 160 petawatts (160 × 10^15 W) and a 3.5-year lifespan. With such a power output, the black hole could accelerate to 10% the speed of light in 20 days, assuming 100% conversion of energy into kinetic energy. Assuming only 10% conversion into kinetic energy, it would take 10 times more.
There are a lot of unknowns and some physicists think that the energy conversion and propulsion generation problems would be too difficult.
Alexander Bolonkin proposed the possibility of manipulating nucleons to produce stable, macroscopic structures of nuclear matter at zero pressure (which he calls “AB-matter”), by analogy with the nanotech ideas of directly manipulating atoms to build high-tech materials.
The basic claim is that an unbounded number of alternating protons and neutrons can be arranged in a fiber held together by residual nuclear force and a small contribution from magnetism due to the nucleon magnetic moments, and prevented from collapsing and held rigid by electrostatic repulsion. Superstrong macroscopic structures can then be built by combining these basic nuclear matter needles.
Bolonkin was a legitimate scientist (PhD in aerospace engineering).
Femtotechnology: Nuclear AB-Matter with Fantastic Properties” in American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences and “Femtotechnology: Design of the Strongest AB Matter for Aerospace” in Journal of Aerospace Engineering.
This is all beyond our capability now, but we are talking about a civilization with mature nanotechnology and mastery of energies near black hole levels.
Black Hole Bomb
A wave impinging on a Kerr black hole can be amplified as it scatters off the hole if certain conditions are satisfied giving rise to superradiant scattering. By placing a mirror around the black hole one can make the system unstable. This is the black hole bomb of Press and Teukolsky. We investigate in detail this process and compute the growing timescales and oscillation frequencies as a function of the mirror’s location. It is found that in order for the system black hole plus mirror to become unstable there is a minimum distance at which the mirror must be located. We also give an explicit example showing that such a bomb can be built. In addition, our arguments enable us to justify why large Kerr-AdS black holes are stable and small Kerr-AdS black holes should be unstable.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.