The Kardashev Scale – How to measure technology levels of civilizations

Measuring the technological advancement of a civilization we use the ‘Kardashev Scale’. Nikolai Semenovich Kardashev was a Russian Astrophysicist that created this scale in 1964.

The scale has three levels of civilization.

Type I – Planetary Civilization
This type of civilization can use and store all the energy of their home planet. Essentially able to control the weather, volcanoes, and earthquakes and no longer needing to use fossil fuels.

Type II – Stellar Civilization
This civilization would be able to control the energy of the parent star of their home planet. One way of doing this would be a structure around the star, called a Dyson Sphere, which would harness all energy from the star that could be used for any purpose that the civilization saw fit. There could be many other ways to accomplish this, that humans are yet unaware of.

Type III – Galactic Civilization
This civilization would be able to control all the energy of its home galaxy. They would be able to merge star systems; create new stars, planets, moons, and star systems.


These are the only levels of the Kardashev scale, although physicists have sometimes added more levels.

Humanity doesn’t even register on this scale and often referred to as a type 0 civilization. Until we have full control over our planet we will be unable to call ourselves a planetary civilization.

Type IV – Universal Civilization
Similar to type III, though instead of total control of their galaxy, this civilization would be able to control the whole universe.

Type V – Multi-verse Civilization
Again this is similar to the previous level (universal civilization) though if the multi-verse theory is correct, they would be able to harness the energy of multiple universes.

Humanity has a long way to go, but it could be an exciting journey, and who knows what other civilizations we could meet on the way.

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