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Student Scientists Search For The Bright Lights Of An Alien World

by Brid-Aine Parnell                 September 29, 2018                    (forbes.com)

• Students at UC Santa Barbara and elsewhere, headed by UCSB professor, Philip Lubin, are using photonics, i.e.: optical and infrared wavelengths, to search for extraterrestrials, in a project known as the Trillion Planet Survey.

• For the last 50 years, the dominant broadcast signals from Earth were radio, TV and radar so naturally, researchers like those at SETI, have been using powerful radio telescopes to look for similar signals out in the Universe. “In no way are we suggesting that radio SETI should be abandoned in favor of optical SETI,” said lead researcher Andrew Stewart, a student at Emory University. “We just think the optical bands should be explored as well.”

• The photonics that are in development today would be the brightest light in the Universe and therefore, could be seen from across the stars. “[If] the extraterrestrial intelligence’s beam power and diameter are consistent with an Earth-type civilization class, our system will detect this signal,” Stewart said.

• The young scientists are also studying photonic tech developed at UCSB to propel small spacecraft through space at a significant fraction of the speed of light for interstellar missions. That project is being funded by NASA’s Starlight and billionaire Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Starshot programs.

 

Combing the Universe for radio signals might not be the only way to search for alien civilisations, according to a team of student researchers from UC Santa Barbara.

The army of students, under the leadership of experimental cosmologist and professor of physics at UCSB Philip Lubin, are using photonics to search for extraterrestrials instead in the Trillion Planet Survey.

For the last 50 years, the dominant broadcast signals from Earth were radio, TV and radar so naturally, researchers like those at SETI, have been using powerful radio telescopes to look for similar signals out in the Universe. But as photonic technology accelerates, scientists are realising that aliens could just as easily be found through optical and infrared wavelengths.

     Professor Philip Lubin

“First and foremost, we are assuming there is a civilization out there of similar or higher class than ours trying to broadcast their presence using an optical beam, perhaps of the ‘directed energy’ arrayed-type currently being developed here on Earth,” said lead researcher Andrew Stewart, a student at Emory University and a member of Lubin’s group, in a statement.

“Second, we assume the transmission wavelength of this beam to be one that we can detect. Lastly, we assume that this beacon has been left on long enough for the light to be detected by us.

“If these requirements are met and the extraterrestrial intelligence’s beam power and diameter are consistent with an Earth-type civilization class, our system will detect this signal.”

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Andrew Stewart, Breakthrough Starshot, Philip Lubin, photonics, SETI, Trillion Planet Survey, UC Santa Barbara


ExoNews Editor

Duke Brickhouse is a former trial lawyer and entertainment attorney who has refocused his life’s work to exposing the truth of our subjugated planet and to help raise humanity’s collective consciousness at this crucial moment in our planet’s history, in order to break out of the dark and negative false reality that is preventing the natural development of our species, to put our planet on a path of love, light and harmony in preparation for our species’ ascension to a fourth density, and to ultimately take our rightful place in the galactic community.

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