I am a big fan of Science Fiction, if you have not guessed it, and one of the big story hooks is the “big dumb object”. This is used to cover the various stories that use a large mysterious object, be it an asteroid or giant ship, as the focus of the tale. As for me, I have read many stories that have contained large mysterious objects that were still very good reads, since each author brings their own quirks to the story line. One of the creations that falsl into this trope is the Dyson sphere.
A Dyson sphere is an enormous hollow sphere that encases a star where people are living on the inner surface that faces the star. The living space is just ridiculous compared to a normal planet. Star Trek the Next Generation did a credible take on the idea in the episode “Relics”. Another BDO in past and present science fiction is the idea of a ring world. First introduced and written about by Larry Niven then utilized in the Halo franchise of video games.
What got me to thinking, and the reason for this post, is a flaw in the idea of a Dyson sphere. One of the reasons given for creating a Dyson sphere is the large living surface on the inside of the sphere around the star. The flaw that I have recently perceived is that there is no way, other than the writing gimmick of artificial gravity, to create a uniform gravity effect over the entire inner surface. If you do not resort to a gimmick, then you are left trying to simulate gravity through centrifugal force by spinning the sphere. That is how Niven’s Ringworld creates its illusion of gravity. The Ringworld spins around its sun like a hula hoop.
The problem with trying this approach with a Dyson sphere is that wherever you place the axis of spin, you are going to have a greater centrifugal force around the equator of spin and less at the poles created by the axis. There is no way to spin the sphere such that no axis is created or does not result in the creation of an equator or poles, which would effectively turn the sphere into a ring as far as comfortable living space goes. This is my thought anyway, let me know what you think.