The space that all the cryogenic dead would occupy for them to wake up in the future

The Alcor Life Extension Foundation is a Scottsdale, Arizona, non-profit company that researches, advocates, and practices cryonics, that is, soaking corpses in liquid nitrogen, in hopes of restoring them to full health when new technologies have been developed. in the future.

So far, good, however, how much space would it take to freeze not only a selected group but as many people as possible?

An article by computer theorist Ralph Merkle entitled “How to cryopreserve everyone” tries to answer the question posed above. It should be remembered that Merkle is an invention of public key cryptography, to be more precise. It also appears in the science fiction novel The Diamond Age, which involves nanotechnology.

The text proposes, as a possible solution of the necessary space, the idea of ​​manufacturing what he calls “Really Large Dewar” (DRG). A Dewar glass is a container designed to provide thermal insulation, reduce heat losses by conduction, convection or radiation. It is used to store liquids, cold or hot. The Dewar glass is named after its inventor, the Scottish physicist James Dewar (1842-1923).

According to the annual world mortality rate, there are about 55 million deaths. Now imagine that we build a gigantic spherical Dewar with a radius of thirty meters. And that, in order to save space, we do without the deceased bodies and only focus on preserving their heads, just as they do in the animated series Futurama.

Given the average dimensions of a human head, such a Dewar could store 5.5 million heads. With ten of those containers we could store all the dead in a year.

Then come other costs, such as financial ones, as Mark O’Connell explains in the book How to be a machine:

Each of these DRGs would have a volume of approximately 113 million litres, which means that the cost of liquid nitrogen, whose price usually fluctuates around ten euro cents per litre, would be around eleven million euros per DRG. There would also be other additional expenses associated with the evaporation rate, insulation and general maintenance of the Dewars; but ultimately the cost of cryopreserving the entire population of Earth would translate into a surprisingly competitive sum of amortized capital: between twenty and thirty euros, literally, “per head”.

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