In our cosmic megastructures series, PopMech explores some of the key engineering and design challenges in constructing gigantic structures for use by humankind in space. Today: a Niven Ring or Ringworld, an enormous slice of real estate encircling a star.
Name: Niven Ring, or Ringworld
Named for: Larry Niven's 1970 novel Ringworld and its sequels.
Selected Science Fiction Portrayals: Besides those featured in Niven's novels, similar but smaller structures, called Halos, appear in the Halo video game and media franchise. Also, the Orbitals of Iain M. Banks' Culture novels and short stories.
Someday, when humankind outgrows planet Earth, we might aim to build a habitat so vast we could never overpopulate it.
Sci-fi author Larry Niven conjured up...
Being a Science Fiction nut (You've seen my Good Reads widget on my site, so this isn't news to you... ) I love the Ringworld series. It's also interesting seeing the impact it' had on later works. I love seeing continued references to like structures (Rings, Dyson Sphere, Dyson Swarms, etc) in later works (Halo anyone?). Oh sure, we're not going to be building these anytime in the near future (heck we can barely got off this rock, let alone...) but a boy can wonder and dream.
This PopMech article is great and also reminds me of the many days I used to spend reading the mag every time the mailman dropped off the latest edition. Remember when we used to get magazines in actual paper and print? :P
If you're a science fiction reader, Niven fan, space nut or science geek, this is an interesting read.