Souper

Could you keep a human cryonically stored for cosmologically significant periods of time?

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What would it take to freeze a human for upwards of 100 million years (enough time for the universe's structure to noticeably change) and still be able to revive them afterwards?

 

Could i get to see the end of the universe? Pretty please? :)

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Not even a few seconds (Edit: i mean freeze a living animal/human). It's dead, dead, dead, questions :-) ?

Put a finger in ice until it's frozen. You can simply break it off. If you thaw it it'll soon start to smell and you have a good chance to die of blood poisoning if it's not amputated fast.

Edited by Green Baron

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Vitrifying someone is not especially difficult- We've already done it with a bunch of people and brains. I think considering the stuff that turns up in our ice caps you might be able to preserve your body for that long, provided there was someone around to take care of your high tech barrel. Waking you up at the end of the long wait, however, is kind of difficult. (Using current methods) you wouldn't have any blood in you, so that would have to be pumped into your body, and instead you'd have a glasslike substance which would have to be removed. You'd also be at liquid nitrogen temperatures, so first you have to be warmed up in order to support liquid water (ice is really bad for tissue). So once you've been defrosted and rehydrated, starting your heart should be a little easier. So, maybe we'll find a way to do all that. Or maybe we're doing it wrong and have a few more lessons to learn from frogs and tardigrades and bears. Or maybe it's just best to wait for ASI and ask it to upload you to the cloud. I think if I was to artificially live a long time, I'd go for the cloud. 

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Since we cannot do it for a non-cosmological period of time, it's safe to say "no."

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Even if we "could", you'd die while you wait. Our bodies repair a lot of damage that we get from radiation and such in our daily lives. The radiation would damage your body and since its frozen, it can't repair it. Assuming you even get cryogenics or whatever to work. Millions of years could also result in accidents, natural disasters, and so on which could destroy your body as well, and the preservation system. If we put it in space, you'd need great insulation and great radiators. Good luck getting tech to work for millions of years...

So, I wouldn't risk is. And even if cryogenics didn't kilp you by default, over such a long time... I'd say no.

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You need a support to last that long as well. I'd say no for that one.

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If bury a cryo chamber on a geologically stable body, in tens meters below the surface, then it would avoid most of disasters and space radiation.

(Though 100 mln years later the chamber would melt into one piece due to atomic diffusion. Maybe with the passenger's body, too).

But 100 mln years is not so much time to speak about "end of the universe". You would just see a Earth with smothery atmosphere and probably without high-organized ilfeforms.

Then — something like here.

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If you want to make it to 100,000,000 years I would say you have better odds, having your brain frozen in a block of acrylic, then ablatively scanned via high power electron microscopes, all your neural pathways mapped, connection strengths and type, and simulated on a computer of somekind. 

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Nope. Wouldn't fit in my freezer, and the warranty doesn't last that long anyway.

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Oh, and current consensus is that the universe has no end or zero K is so far in the future that it is not imaginable, probably only reached asymptotically. So forget this.

Yeah, some animals can survive a short freeze (- a few degrees celsius for a week or so) by controlling the water in the body cells and producing freeze protectants and means to repair the cellular damage. Metabolism doesn't stop completely, the age but slowly. Fish die when water temp drops below -2°C. Some insects can do longer and lower by applying the means above.

Freezing a human to ice completely means killing it and partly means amputation. It is meat afterwards, body tissues are damaged beyond repair, which is bad. First find a means to get the water out of the body without killing the poor thing.

4 hours ago, RuBisCO said:

If you want to make it to 100,000,000 years I would say you have better odds, having your brain frozen in a block of acrylic, then ablatively scanned via high power electron microscopes, all your neural pathways mapped, connection strengths and type, and simulated on a computer of somekind. 

Transforming a highly adaptive brain into a steady state machine ? How scary, we don't do this to our computers any more :-) Computer, like all things technology, don't last that long, 99% don't even last 10 years. You can't do away so hand wavy with 100 my. These time scales weather away mountain ranges, change continental arrangements and bury geology under layers of sediments.

No material stuff on earth, natural or artificial, lasts even a few hundred years without a change through radiation, oxidation or simply molecular /chemical decay. No energy source lasts more than tens of years at most without being attended or exchanged.

A few minerals last very long in space without much of a change, but i don't think anybody will end up as a piece of olivine ... :-) Still even they change chemically under radiation and through isotopic decay, an effect that can be used for dating.

 

Edited by Green Baron

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Assuming that we could figure out how to freeze and thaw a person without harm, there's still a limit on how long he/she could be stored. Freezing slows chemistry down, but it doesn't stop it entirely, and over very long periods of time the body would still decay. If you want to see the far future, a better method (though still entirely unachievable with current technology) would be to go really fast so that relativity effectively freezes you while time passes outside your speeding ship. :D

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And if all chemistry stopped - who would tell every single cell to start working again - especially the brain cells?

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53 minutes ago, Vanamonde said:

Assuming that we could figure out how to freeze and thaw a person without harm, there's still a limit on how long he/she could be stored. Freezing slows chemistry down, but it doesn't stop it entirely, and over very long periods of time the body would still decay. If you want to see the far future, a better method (though still entirely unachievable with current technology) would be to go really fast so that relativity effectively freezes you while time passes outside your speeding ship. :D

And then all you have to worry about is hitting the occasional small rock. :) 

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Buck Rogers got flash-froze for like 500 years and seemed perfectly fine!  Meh, what's another B'zillion?

One question though, how do you feel about waking up to a grossly phallic 4ft robot that wants to be your friend?

Buck_Twiki.jpg

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1 hour ago, Vanamonde said:

Assuming that we could figure out how to freeze and thaw a person without harm, there's still a limit on how long he/she could be stored. Freezing slows chemistry down, but it doesn't stop it entirely, and over very long periods of time the body would still decay. If you want to see the far future, a better method (though still entirely unachievable with current technology) would be to go really fast so that relativity effectively freezes you while time passes outside your speeding ship. :D

Yep, but this method bears the risk of disappointment, if you either accidentally hit c you go to the end so fast that you wouldn't notice it; or you stay a little bit below c then still the universe would last an infinite time(*) and flee before you ever faster.

(*) current consensus ? Anyway ... subject to change without notice ...

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Long version:

Spoiler

Let's say if it was really, REALLY far in the future with all the hardest imaginable future tech we could replace all the water in the human body with an artificial nutritional substance (e.g a non-reactive chemical element that supplied oxygen to the body's cells like with blood but without the whole 'crystallization' thing, maybe a metallic fluid?) or maybe i could be completely wrong.

Alternate version:

Spoiler

1rw1tq.jpg

 

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Short answer?

At least two "a miracle happens here" breakthroughs:

One to freeze a human body without destroying it.

One to bring an undamaged human body back to life after having been frozen.

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Three:

Even copper corrodes over cosmologically significant time periods (millions of years). Just because something is frozen does not mean it will remain intact and functional ready to be defrosted.  I've some professional experience with trying to keep things protected over mere geologically significant time (tens of thousands of years) and I'd say the only hopes lie at a significant fraction of the speed of light. As we can't use the entire mass of the solar system as reaction material you are going to have to find a very large black hole with a shallow gravity well in a quiet neighbourhood (the less the black hole is consuming the lower the radiation/bombardment hazard) and slingshot very close to the event horizon.

Of course, finding and travelling to such a black hole will take a cosmologically significant time period, so basically no. Not even a digitally stored simulation of a person's consciousness could be kept over that sort of time period.

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5 hours ago, Souper said:

Long version:

  Hide contents

Let's say if it was really, REALLY far in the future with all the hardest imaginable future tech we could replace all the water in the human body with an artificial nutritional substance (e.g a non-reactive chemical element that supplied oxygen to the body's cells like with blood but without the whole 'crystallization' thing, maybe a metallic fluid?) or maybe i could be completely wrong.

Alternate version:

  Reveal hidden contents

1rw1tq.jpg

 

@cubinator's comments on vitrification would still apply for your first option. If your artificial nutritional substance doesn't crystallise at cryogenic temperatures it will turn into an amorphous solid (or glass) instead. I suppose something really exotic might stay liquid but that seems like a stretch even for this scenario. Although it wouldn't much matter what you were using if it was supplying oxygen - there's no way this is going to work if your cryonaut's cells are still respiring - oxidative damage will kill them slowly but surely, as per @Vanamonde's comments.

Nanotechnology? I guess. Although over cosmologically significant lengths of time you're going to have much the same problems with your nanites (or whatever you're using) that you will with any other small complicated blobs of chemistry - such as human cells. Simply put - how do you make sure that your nanites remain undamaged over that length of time, or taking that one step further - how do you make sure that whatever whizzy  self repair systems they have stay operational and uncorrupted for long enough?

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Nanites can self-reproduce using available resource.

Of course, somebody should explain them that the passenger's body is not available resource.

Of course, if 100 mln years later somebody could define limits of the passenger's body, while its atoms had diffused into the bed and the cover.

P.S.
Here we come to the same problem as a healing spell.
Which state of the body atoms should be treaten as "healthy" when you cast a healing spell?

Edited by kerbiloid

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6 hours ago, Souper said:

Long version:

Well, in our imagination and ignoring natural science anything can be done.

6 hours ago, Souper said:

 

Alternate version:


I fail to see how any technology works over the mentioned time scales. Nanotechnology is not and will not be a cryptic cure-it-all.

Concerning "vitrification": are there any sources that such a thing exists, i mean besides sifi and "institutes" killing poor pets of the overcredulous for money ?

 

"artificial nutritional substances" contradict the concept of "stasis". Either the body is in "stasis" where it doesn't need such things (physically impossible above zero K) or it's not in which case it slowly (decades to a few hundred years, shorter with the help of bacteria) ages or weathers away. Anyway you turn it, without a means to constantly repair the damage any conservation of biology will fail. But that needs technology, energy, a maintenance crew ....

 

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Numerous self-reproducing (i.e. forever young) nanites could list all body atoms and return them to their original positions when they move too much away.
But this doesn't help from self-diffusion turning the body into chaotic mess of damaged flesh, and we still know almost nothing about the human mind data storage.
Say, nanites keep the neurons ideal, repairing them after any change, but memories decay between these events. So, we get a complete moron with original body.

Maybe, if replace the body with a self-reproducing nanites cloud (like in Summa Technologiae) keeping the mind.
But in such case why should it sleep 100 mln years, while it can stay awake, and where/how the mind exists at all.

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Reproducing nanites would evolve over 100 My to do unintended things, I think.

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Also we should not forget that the travellers (no matter, temporal or cryo) arriving +100My, immediately get captured and eaten by the feral descendants of the travelers, whose capsule timer missed a little and woke them up +99.9My.

Like in Pandorum or Jack Vance's Rhialto The Marvellous, The Murthe, 12-13).

Another point: You can't return back from +100 My and tell your friends what's there. You can't stay live there because it's the final period of the terrestrial life, and the Earth will be mostly devastated.
But you theoretically currently can have a look on some planet with similar conditions to know what will it look like.
The only difference: unknown places which tell you nothing. But +100My the Earth landscape also will change a lot and become unrecognizable.
So, no difference which alien planet to watch: some of them nowadays, or the former Earth +100My.

Edited by kerbiloid

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