Could fast radio bursts be powering alien probes?

March 9, 2017
An artist's illustration of a light-sail powered by a radio beam (red) generated on the surface of a planet. The leakage from such beams as they sweep across the sky would appear as Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), similar to the new population of sources that was discovered recently at cosmological distances. Credit: M. Weiss/CfA

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence has looked for many different signs of alien life, from radio broadcasts to laser flashes, without success. However, newly published research suggests that mysterious phenomena called fast radio bursts could be evidence of advanced alien technology. Specifically, these bursts might be leakage from planet-sized transmitters powering interstellar probes in distant galaxies.

"Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven't identified a possible natural source with any confidence," said theorist Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "An artificial origin is worth contemplating and checking."

As the name implies, are millisecond-long flashes of radio emission. First discovered in 2007, fewer than two dozen have been detected by gigantic radio telescopes like the Parkes Observatory in Australia or the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. They are inferred to originate from distant galaxies, billions of light-years away.

Loeb and his co-author Manasvi Lingam (Harvard University) examined the feasibility of creating a strong enough for it to be detectable across such immense distances. They found that, if the transmitter were solar powered, the sunlight falling on an area of a planet twice the size of the Earth would be enough to generate the needed energy. Such a vast construction project is well beyond our technology, but within the realm of possibility according to the laws of physics.

Lingam and Loeb also considered whether such a transmitter would be viable from an engineering perspective, or whether the tremendous energies involved would melt any underlying structure. Again, they found that a water-cooled device twice the size of Earth could withstand the heat.

They then asked, why build such an instrument in the first place? They argue that the most plausible use of such power is driving interstellar light sails. The amount of power involved would be sufficient to push a payload of a million tons, or about 20 times the largest cruise ships on Earth.

"That's big enough to carry living passengers across interstellar or even intergalactic distances," added Lingam.

To power a light sail, the transmitter would need to focus a beam on it continuously. Observers on Earth would see a brief flash because the sail and its host planet, star and galaxy are all moving relative to us. As a result, the beam sweeps across the sky and only points in our direction for a moment. Repeated appearances of the beam, which were observed but cannot be explained by cataclysmic astrophysical events, might provide important clues about its artificial origin.

Loeb admits that this work is speculative. When asked whether he really believes that any fast are due to aliens, he replied, "Science isn't a matter of belief, it's a matter of evidence. Deciding what's likely ahead of time limits the possibilities. It's worth putting ideas out there and letting the data be the judge."

The paper reporting this work has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters and is available online.

Explore further: Astronomers propose a cell phone search for galactic fast radio bursts

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rderkis
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 09, 2017
Sure seems to be a crude form of propulsion for a civilization that was advanced enough to build it.
Tuxford
2 / 5 (4) Mar 09, 2017
Indeed. More likely used for navigation, a galactic GPS system for faster than light travel.
cantdrive85
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 09, 2017
"Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven't identified a possible natural source with any confidence,"

LOL! The plasma ignoramuses strike again! Just as with the History Channel everything where ignorance clouds judgment is blamed on aliens. Pathetically laughable!
HannesAlfven
2.7 / 5 (7) Mar 09, 2017
anomaly --> aliens

Silly.

anomaly --> possible mistake in theory --> then, if that doesn't work, yes, maybe aliens

Less faddish and click-baity, more real, folks.
gkam
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 09, 2017
Why do we jump to the least likely and most preposterous ideas first?
barakn
3.9 / 5 (11) Mar 09, 2017
Why do we jump to the least likely and most preposterous ideas first?

Because actually a bunch of other ideas came first and you are simply ignorant of them.
gkam
Mar 09, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Captain Stumpy
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 09, 2017
Because actually a bunch of other ideas came first and you are simply ignorant of them.
@Barakn
just ignore that particular troll - he is obviously incapable of even using google, let alone checking facts before posting

... i mean, references to anomalous measurements of FRB's etc in various forms go back prior to 1986, like in N. Gehrels discussion about Confidence limits for small numbers of events in astrophysical data

never mind the fact that PO alone has posted FRB articles over a wide range of time ( https://phys.org/...+bursts/ ) so this is really just following a long line of inquiry of various points be they likely or not

plus, now said troll will argue some crap about being real, being educated or some crap, and how everyone else is anonymous whatevers

never mind that he can't just admit when he fails miserably
wait - that sounds familiar! Hmmmm
https://phys.org/...als.html
dnatwork
4.3 / 5 (6) Mar 09, 2017
Sure seems to be a crude form of propulsion for a civilization that was advanced enough to build it.


Indeed. More likely used for navigation, a galactic GPS system for faster than light travel.


Except it avoids the problem of having to build an engine big enough to accelerate itself and its own fuel to relativistic speeds. Make a star your rocket engine, leave it stationary, and put the payload at the other end of the blast. Maybe not so crude at all.
RealityCheck
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 09, 2017
Hi Forum. :)

I have long thought about the random, frequent and fast transience of the detected 'burst' signal, and speculated that it might not be from a particular 'identifiable' source as as such, but a transient convergence of natural radio signals from a whole-sky whose transient focused convergence happens to pass the point of detection. Much like starlight transiently focused at our eyes every time we 'see' a transient 'star twinkle' (we can narrow down the star as the source only because it's so close, but there must be some transient 'twinkle signal focus' from the whole-sky star field light coinciding onto our eyes). There must be such transient focusing occurring at all scales and at all frequencies; such that it would be unusual not to 'see' such 'burst' artifacts due to random whole-sky signals reaching/passing our detector positions.

Your comments re my above speculation would be appreciated. Please keep your responses polite, on-topic and off-person. Thanks. :)
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (9) Mar 09, 2017
Being we are dealing with plasmas, and we are witnessing energetic "bursts" the most likely event is a plasma discharge. Electric discharges is the primary energy transmission mechanism in plasmas, a fact/process nearly wholly unknown to the plasma ignoramuses.
RealityCheck
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 09, 2017
Hi cantdrive. :)
Being we are dealing with plasmas, and we are witnessing energetic "bursts" the most likely event is a plasma discharge. Electric discharges is the primary energy transmission mechanism in plasmas, a fact/process nearly wholly unknown to the plasma ignoramuses.
If we can set aside for the moment the usual argy-bargy about what 'source/process' create/emit 'generic' radio signals per se; have you any opinion/comment specifically re my speculation re the 'whole sky' signals converging transiently on our detector and producing the fast transient 'burst' artifacts (much like 'rogue' ocean waves are the 'transient artifacts' of converging waves from many directions across the whole ocean)? Thanks. :)
rderkis
2.5 / 5 (2) Mar 09, 2017
Pathetically laughable!

Pathetically laughable! Would be thinking Aliens can't exist or that some of them could not be more advanced then us.
rderkis
1 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2017
Except it avoids the problem of having to build an engine big enough to accelerate itself and its own fuel to relativistic speeds. Make a star your rocket engine, leave it stationary, and put the payload at the other end of the blast. Maybe not so crude at all.

Of course it is not crude by our current technology. But if they were that advanced why not simply take the star (so to speak) with them? And size is relative just like the word crude and advanced are relative.
EcoReality
5 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2017
Fascinating hypothesis for an unexplained phenomenon! I wonder if Loeb and Lingam have read the sci-fi novel The Mote In God's Eye, by Niven & Pournelle, in which humans become aware of ETs through exactly such a mechanism.

the beam sweeps across the sky and only points in our direction for a moment

In such a case, wouldn't it be seriously doppler-chirped? Is there any evidence of that in the observed FRBs? Even a milisecond's worth of gigahertz information should be able to show some doppler-effect.

Or maybe it's the "dopeler effect," where as bad ideas come at you faster and faster, they seem like better and better ideas... :-)
gkam
1.5 / 5 (6) Mar 09, 2017
That's interesting, RC, as the RF smog in which we live can easily heterodyne in antennae as well as add amplitude and carry power in a plethora of resultant frequencies with interesting coincidental peaks.
aratman
not rated yet Mar 09, 2017
It is not a crazy theory this is a theory we are considering to send crafts on deep space. With lasers but same concept.
Jeffhans1
1 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2017
Fascinating hypothesis for an unexplained phenomenon! I wonder if Loeb and Lingam have read the sci-fi novel The Mote In God's Eye, by Niven & Pournelle, in which humans become aware of ETs through exactly such a mechanism.

the beam sweeps across the sky and only points in our direction for a moment

In such a case, wouldn't it be seriously doppler-chirped? Is there any evidence of that in the observed FRBs? Even a milisecond's worth of gigahertz information should be able to show some doppler-effect.

Or maybe it's the "dopeler effect," where as bad ideas come at you faster and faster, they seem like better and better ideas... :-)


No it was noticed after a war that had prevented astronomy due to an active shield blocking views of the sky. It was aimed right at the target star since that was the direction of travel for the solar sail craft and it was noticed by everyone on that world and would have been active for months at the very least.
TopCat22
not rated yet Mar 10, 2017
Origami Nanobot solar powered self assembly molecules let loose on a tidally locked planet so that the end result is a focused beam of energy shooting out into interstellar space.

You can have a good number of these crossing back and forth in a sector of a galaxy to create a relativistic transportation network with solar sail pods travelling constantly moving things interstellar.
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (10) Mar 10, 2017
Pathetically laughable! Would be thinking Aliens can't exist or that some of them could not be more advanced then us.

Or god. Or leprechauns and unicorns... Speaking of god, he is way more technologically advanced than the aliens too!
So is that how science works now? The plasma ignoramuses can't figure out a reasonable explanation so we just blame it on aliens and/or something "dark". Sounds just like religious fundamentalists blaming god for all their ignorance.
jim_xanara
3.8 / 5 (10) Mar 10, 2017
"Science isn't a matter of belief, it's a matter of evidence. Deciding what's likely ahead of time limits the possibilities. It's worth putting ideas out there and letting the data be the judge."


Which leaves all the thunderbutts out of the discussion. Too bad the trollaphiles are still addicted to their daily dose of trollalingus. If you want to do something about their crap postings, show up at their convention in Arizona, otherwise don't feed the idiots. But no, the local addicts have to freakin' suck 'em off!
Sonhouse
5 / 5 (6) Mar 10, 2017
The thing that struck me, assuming the sail hypothesis holds water, so to speak:) is this: pound for pound, visible light photons gives more momentum than gigahertz radiation, just more of them to fit in a certain size sail, smaller wavelength, more momentum per square cm.

That said, it seems unlikely some advanced civilization would use gigahertz radio for such propulsion. Just seems highly unlikely this story has any street cred.
TopCat22
not rated yet Mar 10, 2017
Origami Nanobot solar powered self assembly molecules let loose on a tidally locked planet so that the end result is a focused beam of energy shooting out into interstellar space.

You can have a good number of these crossing back and forth in a sector of a galaxy to create a relativistic transportation network with solar sail pods travelling constantly moving things interstellar.


This is probably the only way you can travel at a good fraction of the speed of light. Since faster then light travel will always be impossible no matter how advanced anyone gets... this type of solar sail rail network with an unlimited time to accelerate and create orbiting rail networks from star to star going to say 90% of the speed of light all the time. The only problem being how to get on the train as it swings by your planet? Just get in front of it and somehow get in without crashing it...
bschott
1 / 5 (4) Mar 10, 2017
Sure seems to be a crude form of propulsion for a civilization that was advanced enough to build it.

So, the emitters would have to be constructed in a continuous band, and initialized in sequence around the planet to negate the loss of line of sight as the planet rotates and powered by means beyond our technology...even though the craft and it's propulsion system are not. The launch vector would have to be such that it allows continuous line of site also despite the planets orbit around it's star...and we could only sense these bursts if they are on their way here....if the theory is correct.
Why do we jump to the least likely and most preposterous ideas first?

Good question George, if you have any other variables on top of the ones I listed that seed your skepticism, please share....
bschott
1 / 5 (3) Mar 10, 2017
...and we could only sense these bursts if they are on their way here

I have to clarify this, if the theory is correct and the aliens have this tech I am assuming that they can aim well enough to not miss the sail except in the instance the sail itself shifts to allow the burst to go past it...but at this point milliseconds seems a bit short....
gkam
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 10, 2017
Perhaps if they could do this, they use it in a way not known to us.
bschott
2 / 5 (4) Mar 10, 2017
Perhaps if they could do this, they use it in a way not known to us.

I have never been a fan of Photon driven sails for interstellar travel....the sail and craft it is towing travelling at a decent fraction of c encountering a particle dense region of space would send the craft right through the sail...or were you talking about the RF burst tech?
gkam
1 / 5 (4) Mar 10, 2017
I do not know, it is unknown to us. Perhaps the application of an effect yet to be discovered and tamed.
Modulus64
not rated yet Mar 10, 2017
The same high energy physics experiment being discovered in millions of systems, and destroying them?
EnsignFlandry
not rated yet Mar 10, 2017
Perhaps if they could do this, they use it in a way not known to us.


Then its unknowable. We can say nothing about it, including existence.
EnsignFlandry
not rated yet Mar 10, 2017
Hi Forum. :)

I have long thought about the random, frequent and fast transience of the detected 'burst' signal, and speculated that it might not be from a particular 'identifiable' source as as such, but a transient convergence of natural radio signals from a whole-sky whose transient focused convergence happens to pass the point of detection. Much like starlight transiently focused at our eyes every time we 'see' a transient 'star twinkle' (we can narrow down the star as the source only because it's so close, but there must be some transient 'twinkle signal focus' from the whole-sky star field light coinciding onto our eyes). There must be such transient focusing occurring at all scales and at all frequencies; such that it would be unusual not to 'see' such 'burst' artifacts due to random whole-sky signals reaching/passing our detector positions. /
/
snip

Like maybe a "lens" of spacetime focusing a lot of starlight?
gkam
1 / 5 (4) Mar 10, 2017
"Then its unknowable. "
--------------------------------------
Nonsense. What did James Watt know about radio?

Forget Superhet, . . . he didn't even have superheat.
tibando
1 / 5 (2) Mar 10, 2017
This is the most idiotic story I've read. It clearly plays on the ignorance of the reader or is simply not properly reported. Absolutely, no interstellar civilization is ever going to use solar powered FRB to propel their spacecraft or even use it as a form of communication between home planet and their spacecraft.
Lightspeed whether solar-generated or artificially created is simply too slow a method to travel between the stars. PERIOD!
Any advanced star-travelling civilization knows that, the fact that some half-wit scientist who thinks that it's a viable way to travel should hand back his PhD. or doctorate! Just because humans are experimenting with lasers as a propulsion method doesn't mean other alien civilizations are doing the same thing.
The issue here is to get a spacecraft or a communication signal to travel at multiples of the speed of light (transluminal speeds) and the energy of the quantum flux of space is the only solution for space travel! Get with the program!!!
Captain Stumpy
4.4 / 5 (7) Mar 11, 2017
if the theory is correct and the aliens have this tech ...
if this is an alien technology and not a natural occurrence

... i would speculate that it would be far, far more effective as a marker of sorts that can be "seen" from great distances more so than anything else

so if it were a technology, it makes a great "beacon" or "lighthouse"

something that says "this is original point [x] so you can orient yourself based upon this data and adjust your path of travel accordingly"

kinda like using points on a topo map to determine where you are in order to orient yourself

perhaps it is a survey point, or survey marker

maybe that is too simplistic?
but until we learn if it is natural or artificial it could be a teenage alien locked in the bathroom exploring puberty for all we know

[obvious humour is obvious]
rderkis
4.4 / 5 (7) Mar 11, 2017
This is the most idiotic story .....is simply too slow a method to travel between the stars. PERIOD!


While your calling anyone morons, I am sure your are aware that "to slow" is a relative term. If a beings life span is a billion years, how slow is "too slow"? If that beings metabolism is 1/100,000,000 of ours, how slow is to slow?
Whydening Gyre
4.6 / 5 (9) Mar 11, 2017
This is the most idiotic story I've read. It clearly plays on the ignorance of the reader or is simply not properly reported.

But it incites the activation of imagination. Which you seem to have limited...
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 11, 2017
Sure seems to be a crude form of propulsion for a civilization that was advanced enough to build it
Yeah and as an advanced tech it seems to be a very leaky and wasteful one.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (9) Mar 11, 2017
But it incites the activation of imagination. Which you seem to have limited...

This is quite amusing, fanciful pontifications about aliens is considered the sign of an "active imagination", but to suggest space plasmas behave similarly to laboratory plasmas is somehow non-scientific.
Because actually a bunch of other ideas came first and you are simply ignorant of them.

And yet, none of the "bunch of other ideas" have anything to do with real plasma physics. If they had, the plasma ignoramuses wouldn't have landed on "aliens did it" if they had...
rderkis
4.3 / 5 (12) Mar 11, 2017
ignoramuses


Only a real redneck coward would use this kind of word about a stranger they did not know, while remaining anonymous.
Captain Stumpy
4.7 / 5 (12) Mar 11, 2017
@idiot nazi sympathizing eu pseudoscience cult member
And yet, none of the "bunch of other ideas" have anything to do with real plasma physics
now, maybe i am reaching here but... maybe it's because there are more than 8 pages of articles on fast radio bursts that deal with strictly physics?
https://phys.org/...o+bursts

so that means, given your entire pseudoscience cult mentality and your adherence to bullsh*t faerie-dust-on unicorn-horns belief, this would be the one article where it is as plausible as aliens, even though aliens are likely more probable, because, as everyone but you cult members knows, your entire eu cult is nothing but pseudoscience claptrap

it doesn't make your idiotic lies more probable, it is simply a speculative thread where you can vent your spleen and be similar to others... kinda like when your cult has forum discussions about your pseudoscience
gkam
1.4 / 5 (5) Mar 11, 2017
derkis, you have our forum snipers down pat.

It is only anonymity that lets them blabber, since they are cowards.

They especially like to use dirty acronyms, like real high-school kids do.

And their posts are personal attacks, a residue of them being the butt of all the frat jokes.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (7) Mar 11, 2017
Aliens did it!

LOL!

That claim came from "scientists"! Nothing more need be said and the reason behind the use of ignoramuses.

ROTFLMAO
rderkis
4.9 / 5 (10) Mar 11, 2017
That claim came from "scientists"!

And what exactly do you claim to be?
(Besides a anonymous redneck coward)
cantdrive85
1.1 / 5 (7) Mar 11, 2017
Pardon me while I dust the floor off myself...

The type of guy who doesn't rely on fictional creations such as BH's, DM, aliens, leprechauns, unicorns, and god to explain away "mysteries" so I can feel better about myself and reconcile my own ignorance.
Captain Stumpy
4.6 / 5 (9) Mar 11, 2017
@idiot nazi sympathizing eu pseudoscience cult member
The type of guy who doesn't rely on fictional creations
you can "claim" to be this type of guy all you want
... but the fact is: this is not the type of guy you are, and it's provable simply by reading all your posts

you can't claim to be the above while simply replacing "god" or "unicorns" with "eu" ... that's delusional

definition of the eu:
-you have no evidence, except that which you misinterpret with biased beer-goggles
-you ignore any evidence that refutes your own claims
-the rules per the cult make you repeatedly regurgitate the exact same lies that have been proven false over and over
-anyone who proves you wrong is an idiot or ignorant of the "truth"

sound familiar?
http://www.jstor....contents

https://en.wikipe...iki/Cult

HeloMenelo
4.1 / 5 (9) Mar 11, 2017
That claim came from "scientists"!

And what exactly do you claim to be?
(Besides a anonymous redneck coward)

Cantdrive claims with pride to be a specialized tree swinger, being an antigoracle / waterprophet/ dogfart plus another 40 or so more sockpuppets.

He's always the odd one out here in the science forum, he probably had to beg the kids at school to listen to him when still in school, as he have been trying to beg here for decades and still no one listens to him (and Still he does not have the capacity upstairs to see this in so he can change), nor sees anything real backing his hilarious claims and dumb comments. Crawl, Walk Then learn how to drive, after that graduate and read lots of books, that's the only way you will ever learn science ;)
HeloMenelo
4.2 / 5 (10) Mar 11, 2017

definition of the eu:
-you have no evidence, except that which you misinterpret with biased beer-goggles
-you ignore any evidence that refutes your own claims
-the rules per the cult make you repeatedly regurgitate the exact same lies that have been proven false over and over
-anyone who proves you wrong is an idiot or ignorant of the "truth"

That sums it up for antigoracle/can'tdrive sockpuppet on every comment section, the funny thing is, he preaches this stupidity on here for the whole world to see how pathetic his dumb claims are trying to boast his chest thumping thoughts are relevant above Scientific Facts, losing in each and every single climate change announcement (and forever will) because of his lack of insight and understanding, continually advertising to the world how dumb he thinks reality works. i wonder if he's playing with imaginary friends at home too, still not believing they are not real ?
cantdrive85
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 11, 2017
Lots of people defending the imaginary friends/aliens line of "research".
Comical!
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 11, 2017
ignoramuses


Only a real redneck coward would use this kind of word about a stranger they did not know, while remaining anonymous.
Yeah like calling people dumb goobers and cheap kazoos like the coward george kamburoff/gkam regularly does. His buddy reality check was outed by one such anonymous goober.
HeloMenelo
3.9 / 5 (7) Mar 11, 2017
Lots of people defending the imaginary friends/aliens line of "research".
Comical!


Nope wrong (yet) again, Scientists looks at facts, and then discuss what may and what may not be based on what is known, not by thumb sucking an idea like you and claiming it to be facts. Just because you think imaginary friends are real, doesn't mean that they are. Like the rest of your thumb sucked opinions.
rderkis
4.5 / 5 (2) Mar 11, 2017
gkam regularly does. His buddy reality check was outed by one such anonymous goober.

I don't understand why haven't you muted(Ignore) them?
rderkis
not rated yet Mar 11, 2017
It's funny how you people throw around the word scientist.
A scientist by definition is someone who "has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural or physical sciences."
In other words by calling someone a s scientist, you are crediting them with a great deal of knowledge. :-)

BTW This would not be my definition of a scientist. Personally I feel anyone can be a scientist, the same way anyone that picks up a drum and plays one (beautiful exquisite :-) beat is a musician.
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 11, 2017
Hi rderkis. :)
Personally I feel anyone can be a scientist, the same way anyone that picks up a drum and plays one (beautiful exquisite :-) beat is a musician.
Agreed. I have long been pointing out that anyone who adheres strictly to The Scientific Method, and its principles of objective enquiry and impartial polite discourse, is ipso facto a Scientist. The conflation of 'Scientist' and 'Technical Expert' is what causes many misunderstandings and semantical/personal argy-bargy. That is why I always urge all to keep to the objective on-topic science/logics issue in discussion, and leave out all the irrelevant personal distractions/tactics/vendettas etc (you can see who these personal tactics/feuds posters are, by the way they address their posts and insults, instead of keeping objectively to the science point in discussion.

Your above perspective demonstrates that you have the right stuff for being a true scientist. Cheers, rderkis. :)
rderkis
not rated yet Mar 11, 2017
I have long been pointing out that anyone who adheres strictly to The Scientific Method, and its principles of objective enquiry and impartial polite discourse, is ipso facto a Scientist.


I can't disagree with that but I think the definition of scientist is even broader. As a matter of fact I think it's so broad, almost anyone who has done any kind of experiment no matter how small, could be called a scientist.
Just like anyone that has installed a pipe under the sink could be called a plumber.
I guess what I am saying is, it;s the degree of expertise that differentiates the expert from the, for lack of better word amature. (plumber, scientist, magician etc)
RealityCheck
2.4 / 5 (5) Mar 11, 2017
Hi Ghost! :) (Was that 'insipid' enough for you, mate?)

Anyhow:
Yeah like calling people dumb goobers and cheap kazoos like the coward george kamburoff/gkam regularly does. His buddy reality check was outed by one such anonymous goober.
In what sense "outed", Ghost? I am heterosexual male; a strict adherer to scientific method and impartial in my observations/comments. You on the other hand have proven record of unhealthy activity/fixation as a stalker/troll and generally creepy obsessive liar and denier of the evidence when placed before you. As for me being "outed" by a bot-voting ignoramus who admits to not knowing but still sabotaging others' discussions/ratings, then its a badge of honor to wear because it shows who the goober is quite unambiguously every time you/that goober bot-votes and trolls and stalks the person instead of sticking to the science points in discussion.

So, Ghost, can you now discuss on-topic science instead of your stalking victims? Try. :)
rderkis
not rated yet Mar 11, 2017
and impartial in my observations/comments.


I would disagree with that statement. How can you state you are impartial? Anymore than a man can state to a psychiatrist "I am absolutely sane."
It's the nature of man to be biased.
Myself -- I TRY to be impartial. The fact of knowing that I am not perfect/impartial, makes me try harder to be impartial .
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (2) Mar 11, 2017
Nope wrong (yet) again, Scientists looks at facts,

Which fact led them to the aliens conjecture?
RealityCheck
2 / 5 (4) Mar 11, 2017
Hi rderkis. :)
impartial in my observations/comments.
I would disagree with that statement. How can you state you are impartial? Anymore than a man can state to a psychiatrist "I am absolutely sane."
It's the nature of man to be biased.
Myself -- I TRY to be impartial. The fact of knowing that I am not perfect/impartial, makes me try harder to be impartial .
What you just observed (re human nature/foibles) is precisely WHY The Scientific Method was invented. And WHY anyone must adhere strictly to its principles of impartiality/objectivity DESPITE one's own emotional/subjective views.

So far, my record of having regard to ALL 'sides' in a discussion (rather than taking 'sides' based on personal likes/dislikes etc), and making observations/comments accordingly, will demonstrate I stick strictly to Science Method and Science Discourse Ethics. Anyone else who can demonstrate same is also ipso facto being 'impartial' (so far there are very few; you are one). :)
Whydening Gyre
4.2 / 5 (6) Mar 11, 2017
So far, my record

You started off with bias (my record) .
of having regard to ALL 'sides' in a discussion (rather than taking 'sides' based on personal likes/dislikes etc), and making observations/comments accordingly,

providing proof for of that bias. The absolute second you start saying things like "I've been saying this all along" (and yada, yada, yada), you mark your ego as attached to the discussion.
will demonstrate I stick strictly to Science Method and Science Discourse Ethics. Anyone else who can demonstrate same is also ipso facto being 'impartial' (so far there are very few; you are one). :)

And... you attached yourself to the discussion - AGAIN....
Not very impartial now, is it...?
A little tip - that is NOT how to win friends and influence enemies...
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) Mar 11, 2017
gkam regularly does. His buddy reality check was outed by one such anonymous goober.


I don't understand why haven't you muted(Ignore) them?
Yeah i got tired of rc's punctuation/emoticon neuroses so hes gone. Kamburoff the psychopath is both a genuine menace and a unique teaching opportunity. Like ive said its like finding a little rabid raccoon in your backyard, just sitting there fuming and frothing. You know he'll be dead soon enough (george is old) but in the meantime you just want to poke him and prod him and see what he does.

Even sick things can serve a purpose.
TopCat22
not rated yet Mar 12, 2017

Except it avoids the problem of having to build an engine big enough to accelerate itself and its own fuel to relativistic speeds. Make a star your rocket engine, leave it stationary, and put the payload at the other end of the blast. Maybe not so crude at all.


Scientifically speaking this is the only plausible way of sending anything with any functional mass to another star system ... even just one light year away... at any fraction of a percentage (1/1000) of the speed of light. We as a life form are planing to do just this in the very near future... Therefore to assume that not one other life form in any galaxy has ever done this is for the feeble minded.

If you believe in things scientifically then you must agree that the fast radio bursts could be us witnessing another life form launching objects to interstellar velocities until some other theory comes up to exclude it.
gkam
1 / 5 (4) Mar 12, 2017
"to assume that not one other life form in any galaxy has ever done this is for the feeble minded."
---------------------------------------------

Oh, . . if we do not favor your idea, we are "feeble-minded"?

Are you Trump?
Benni
3 / 5 (2) Mar 12, 2017
f you believe in things scientifically then you must agree that the fast radio bursts could be us witnessing another life form launching objects to interstellar velocities until some other theory comes up to exclude it.


Have you looked at any calculations for the passage of time required to accelerate this "sail" to 1/1000 the speed of light using the proposed method discussed here? Hundreds or even thousands of years depending on the MASS.

Once you get it up tp speed, there will be an issue of integrity of the craft as it encounters interstellar dust shredding this thing into ribbons of decimated material that would prevent it from reaching even the nearest star to us. So long as speeds of the craft are < 100k mph, the Kinetic Energy that would be created with interstellar dust may be sustainable if the dust were only micron sized particles, but anything larger even at 100k will impart so much KE to the craft that it will suffer disabling damage.

cantdrive85
1 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2017

Except it avoids the problem of having to build an engine big enough to accelerate itself and its own fuel to relativistic speeds. Make a star your rocket engine, leave it stationary, and put the payload at the other end of the blast. Maybe not so crude at all.


Scientifically speaking this is the only plausible way of sending anything with any functional mass to another star system ... even just one light year away... at any fraction of a percentage (1/1000) of the speed of light. We as a life form are planing to do just this in the very near future... Therefore to assume that not one other life form in any galaxy has ever done this is for the feeble minded.

If you believe in things scientifically then you must agree that the fast radio bursts could be us witnessing another life form launching objects to interstellar velocities until some other theory comes up to exclude it.

With this type of reasoning we may as well declare this is god's transport.
TopCat22
4 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2017
"to assume that not one other life form in any galaxy has ever done this is for the feeble minded."
---------------------------------------------

Oh, . . if we do not favor your idea, we are "feeble-minded"?

Are you Trump?


Its the only way we know how to do it. It is current and tested technology we can do today with existing means and methods. Not science fiction like every other way. Every other way is still impossible as far as science is concerned and we must assume that until something else comes up there is no other way to travel interstellar.
TopCat22
4 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2017
With this type of reasoning we may as well declare this is god's transport.


You are correct. It is the only way possible in this universe to travel between stars. There is no other way unless you believe in magic from science fiction which is every other way so far imagined for going fast. warp this and warp that... is all imaginary hocus pocus without any evidence of near possibility and every evidence of complete impossibility. So if you want to go so fast you must travel on the push from energy beams
Newbeak
not rated yet Mar 12, 2017
Sure seems to be a crude form of propulsion for a civilization that was advanced enough to build it.

Not necessarily. If Einstein was right,and nothing can travel faster than light,light sails could accelerate a spacecraft to 20% of the speed of light. There is a project on the drawing board to send a small probe to Alpha Centuri in 20 years powered by ground based lasers: https://breakthro...iative/3
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (2) Mar 12, 2017
Hi Whyde. :)

Meanwhile, your own bias (and irresponsibility to science/science discourse on a science site) is evident by your encouragement and condoning of bot-voting trolls and saboteurs because you enjoy their '5' while posters who are correct on the science/logics get '1' so that the ratings metrics is skewed for nefarious personal agendas.

Whyde, how can you sit there and be so biased while accusing me of bias? Have you stopped being objective/impartial?

My first two posts were on topic and offered an original perspective on the possible nature/cause of the FRBs.

I then responded politely to rderkis regarding the issue of what 'makes' a scientist. I agreed with his view, added my own view regarding that issue raised.

Please tell me how that is in any way out of order.

While you're at it, Whyde, also explain how alluding to ones own posting record on the subject is in any way 'showing bias'; especially as the record and its implications/inferences is relevant. :)
rderkis
not rated yet Mar 12, 2017
There is a project on the drawing board to send a small probe to Alpha Centauri in 20 years


Which kind of proves my point.
If we could do it now(20 years) in a rudimentary form, then by the time we could build the great sails and a power source with a area of a planet twice the size of the Earth. The technique would be obsolete.

I know I did not say that well, but it's like our great sailing ships of the past. Do we use that technology now? And why not, it's free? There have been discussions and experimental sailing ships built and used, but that load of steel your car was built out of, was not shipped that way.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (2) Mar 12, 2017
PS @ Whyde. How about getting objective/impartial and on-topic with the science/logics involved in the topic and discussion; and leave the personal/off-topic trolling, bias, sabotage, skewing posts/activity to those creepy stalkers and self-demonstrated internet losers already well known for same. Thanks. :)
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (2) Mar 12, 2017
Hi Ghost. :)
i got tired of rc's punctuation/emoticon neuroses so hes gone.
Why do you conveniently omit the fact that you are the one fixated on punctuation and personal agendas instead of the on-topic science/logics in discussion? Could it be that you are the problem, and 'projecting' your own psychoses/failures onto your victims, spinning/twisting the facts in an attempt to convince yourself and innocent newbies that you are not the self-demonstrated internet stalker/troll/lies and insults merchant which your latest effort demonstrates once more that you are?

Ghost, how many times have I asked you politely to end your unhealthy fixation with person/style/punctuation/semantics, and to stick to polite science discourse?

Why keep trying to rewrite history? It's there for people to read for themselves; your 're-write' attempts are futile.

Make a new start. Be objective, impartial, polite, on-science. You can do it if you try. Then your past can be forgiven, Ghost. :)
Benni
1 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2017
So if you want to go so fast you must travel on the push from energy beams


OK, you like to continuously repeat yourself about using energy beams to push sails beyond the solar system. How big a sail do you think is big enough to do the job? The bigger the sail the more energy the photon beam needs to impart to the sail to push it to whatever you think is a suitable velocity.

Do you think 1 square mile sail is big enough? Maybe 2 would be better. How about 100? In the meantime, while this sail is merrily chugging along it's way, everytime it traverses one mile of space with a sail of 1 square mile it will hit several micron sized particles that are known to exist inside every cubic mile of interstellar space. Multiply this times trillions of miles to the nearest star & how many micron sized particles can you imagine will collide with this sail? Yeah, the hits will number into the trillions. Good idea anyway?
Newbeak
not rated yet Mar 12, 2017
There is a project on the drawing board to send a small probe to Alpha Centauri in 20 years


Which kind of proves my point.
If we could do it now(20 years) in a rudimentary form, then by the time we could build the great sails and a power source with a area of a planet twice the size of the Earth. The technique would be obsolete.

I know I did not say that well, but it's like our great sailing ships of the past. Do we use that technology now? And why not, it's free? There have been discussions and experimental sailing ships built and used, but that load of steel your car was built out of, was not shipped that way.

Sailing in space is different. There is no known power supply (other than as fusion generator,perhaps) that can accelerate a ship to relativistic velocities,so the long term application of a laser to a very big and light sail is the only way to go.
rderkis
not rated yet Mar 12, 2017
Sailing in space is different. There is no known power supply (other than as fusion generator,perhaps) that can accelerate a ship to relativistic velocities,so the long term application of a laser to a very big and light sail is the only way to go.


Ok now you confuse me. Obviously it's a different technology, but the same basic principal.

Now as to fusion reactors. By the time we could build a reflector twice the size of earth, my guess is we would certainly have fusion. But how would fusion help? From reading the articles I have read about the EM drive. A power source is not enough, we need matter (and a LOT of it) to propel the space ship. That is why they want the concept of the EM drive to work so bad. Sounds like if the two technologies work it would power a space ship the way we want.
rderkis
not rated yet Mar 12, 2017
After reading more I have gleaned that a fusion reactor coupled with a photon drive would work to. Just VARY little drive produced per watt, but on the pro side, it has a much higher theoretical top speed.
Perhaps even a combination EM drive and a proton drive to achieve both faster acceleration and a higher top speed
With a fusion drive producing the power.
BTW The time involved for travel between the stars MIGHT mean very little to a AI.
Newbeak
not rated yet Mar 12, 2017
Yes,the reason I mentioned fusion reactors is that they can operate far,far longer than a chemical rocket engine,and combined with an ion drive type engine,could reach quite respectable speeds. From what I've read,EM drives are still not proven.
Benni
1 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2017
After reading more I have gleaned that a fusion reactor coupled with a photon drive would work to. Just VARY little drive produced per watt, but on the pro side, it has a much higher theoretical top speed.
Perhaps even a combination EM drive and a proton drive to achieve both faster acceleration and a higher top speed With a fusion drive producing the power.


OK, add a fusion drive to a sail as large as planet Earth? Added mass of the fusion drive requires even more energy required to move this thing at a reasonable velocity to reach the nearest star. What velocity are you hoping to attain?

Let's imagine you can get this thing up to 100k mph, but what happens after the KINETIC ENERGY from micron sized particles have decimated this sail into ribbons of material so small that it completely comes apart after a few trillion miles of distance. With a decimated sail velocity will be lost because there is less sail available to catch the focus of the photon beam. Now what?
rderkis
not rated yet Mar 12, 2017
Added mass of the fusion drive

Just how much mass are you talking about, a thousand years in the future?
rderkis
not rated yet Mar 12, 2017
Added mass of the fusion drive


Just how much mass are you talking about, a thousand years in the future?
Since this is all speculation perhaps we can dream. Perhaps the sail will repair itself continually :-)
But I don't think in a thousand years a sail would be used except for maybe nostalgia.

Benni
1 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2017
Added mass of the fusion drive


Just how much mass are you talking about, a thousand years in the future?


We can only base fabrication of such a fusion drive as has been discussed on this site. Something about the size & weight of a pickup truck, assuming it can actually be made to work.

Perhaps the sail will repair itself continually :-)


Yeah, you really need a smiley face for that one :-). How do you propose this sail will stitch itself back together? And where will the stitching materials come from? Now we need to add even more mass for stitching materials to plug holes in the sail.

But I don't think in a thousand years a sail would be used except for maybe nostalgia.
:-), I added the smiley for you, the whole thing is a pipedream.

rderkis
5 / 5 (1) Mar 12, 2017
But the whole thing is a pipedream.


Of course it is!
But how long in the future could it take to develop that kind of technology? (Best guess?)
As for the sail repairing itself, that's what nano bots could be used for. As far as the sail material, the sail material matter could be created as need using energy. So could the forward hull material.
We would probably need to gather matter from space to convert to other matter and for the propulsion of our exotic mater fusion drive.

rderkis
not rated yet Mar 12, 2017
Just because you think imaginary friends are real, doesn't mean that they are.


But of course that does not mean they are not real either. :-)
Sonhouse
5 / 5 (1) Mar 13, 2017
Nobody seems to have paid attention to my argument: That an advanced civilization would use gigahertz radiation to power a sail. If they were advanced, they would use light or even shorter wavelengths if they could pull it off. The photons of gigahertz radiation don't pack the momentum in total compared with shorter wavelengths. Even Terahertz radiation would work better than UHF they seem to be talking about. It's a matter of how many square wavelengths can you fit on a sail. Clearly you get more square wavelengths with light than with gigahertz radiation.

That is why I said this story holds no street cred. An advanced civilization would know that full well to use shorter wavelengths if they did it that way at all since even WE can see better ways if we can do the engineering, like matter-antimatter reactors, we already know how to build those if we can come up with enough anti-matter to do the job. Like kilograms of the stuff. That seems more likely the way they would go.
Benni
1 / 5 (1) Mar 13, 2017
The photons of gigahertz radiation don't pack the momentum in total compared with shorter wavelengths.


What will be the MASS of the power generating devices to create EM at ant wavelength? If they are on-board devices their mass must be included, we're not just talking about a tinfoil sail here. Most of the energy generated by on-board generators will go to accommodate the additional mass of the generators.

That is why I said this story holds no street cred
Yeah, it's a pipedream for sure.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 13, 2017
,so the long term application of a laser to a very big and light sail is the only way to go.

Unfortunately you can't really brake such a craft once it's up to speed.

That an advanced civilization would use gigahertz radiation to power a sail. If they were advanced, they would use light or even shorter wavelengths if they could pull it off

You always have to take into account: Tech level at which such a probe is feasible and sensible.
(E.g. it's not sensible to launch probes that way if you're so advanced that you have better means of propulsion)
The amount of power needed is enormous - and with the tech level at which such probes make sense we're dealing with efficiency issues. While shorter wavelengths have more momentum per photon they are also harder to generate (i.e. you lose efficiency)

That said I'd not wager any money on the 'probes' hypothesis. Will probably turn out to be a natural/mundane phenomenon.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 13, 2017
warp this and warp that.

There are pretty sensible calculations that show that an Alcubierre type drive might be feasible (at the very least nothing in our known physics forbids it). Remember that c is the speed limit within spacetime. But spacetime itself isn't limited to c.
E.g. Inflation after the Big Bang was much 'faster' than that. But that wasn't movement - that was expansion of space.

An Alcubierre drive would use the same principle: Compressing space in front of a craft and extending it in the back. The craft itself would remain, locally, stationary. Nothing in this setup would move faster than c (or at all) - yet you could transport an object to another position at any 'speed' (as measured by a distant observer) only limited by how much you can compress/expand space.
(Of course the expansion part requires negative energy. While it is feasible to generate this locally the amount needed would make it very hard to implement)
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2017
cant brake a lightsail
I like how aa talks in absolutes.

"The solution is for the probe's sail to be redeployed upon arrival so that the spacecraft would be optimally decelerated by the incoming radiation from the stars in the Alpha Centauri system. René Heller, an astrophysicist working on preparations for the upcoming Exoplanet mission PLATO, found a congenial spirit in IT specialist Michael Hippke, who set up the computer simulations.

"The two scientists based their calculations on a space probe weighing less than 100 grams in total, which is mounted to a 100,000-square-metre sail, equivalent to the area of 14 soccer fields. During the approach to Alpha Centauri, the braking force would increase. The stronger the braking force, the more effectively the spacecraft's speed can be reduced upon arrival..."
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2017
There is no known power supply (other than as fusion generator,perhaps) that can accelerate a ship to relativistic velocities
There are various alternatives involving nuclear explosives and/or antimatter.
https://en.wikipe...opulsion
https://en.wikipe...Valkyrie
"The Valkyrie is theoretically able to accelerate to 92% the speed of light and decelerate afterward, carrying a small human crew to another star system."
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 13, 2017
What's wrong Benni? Back to rage-voting? Tired of getting your behind handed to you by everyone on these comment sections? Or is it just envy?
dnatwork
5 / 5 (3) Mar 13, 2017

"The Valkyrie is theoretically able to accelerate to 92% the speed of light and decelerate afterward, carrying a small human crew to another star system."


That's nothing. I have proof that we can accelerate a forum to 99% ad hominem attacks, carrying off all the humanity and any semblance of a discussion of the article, in only 3 seconds. Just PM me for the citation.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Mar 13, 2017
You are naive. I do have a brit award pic on my profile page but that does not give me the authority to make you a prime minister.

How about a knighthood?
Benni
1 / 5 (3) Mar 13, 2017
An Alcubierre drive would use the same principle: Compressing space in front of a craft and extending it in the back. The craft itself would remain, locally, stationary. Nothing in this setup would move faster than c (or at all) - yet you could transport an object to another position at any 'speed' (as measured by a distant observer) only limited by how much you can compress/expand space.
(Of course the expansion part requires negative energy. While it is feasible to generate this locally the amount needed would make it very hard to implement)


We know you don't have the language skills to come up with gobbleygook like this on your own, so where did you Copy & Paste this from?It's why you get 1's.

RealityCheck
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 13, 2017
Hi antialias. :)
Inflation after the Big Bang was much 'faster' than that. But that wasn't movement - that was expansion of space.

An Alcubierre drive would use the same principle: Compressing space in front of a craft and extending it in the back. The craft itself would remain, locally, stationary. Nothing in this setup would move faster than c (or at all) - yet you could transport an object to another position at any 'speed' (as measured by a distant observer) only limited by how much you can compress/expand space.
With respect: 'Big Bang', 'Expansion' ('Inflation' too---just ask Prof Paul Steinhardt), 'Wormholes' and 'Alcubierre Drive', all fall into the 'Unphysical/Maths fantasies' category. Re 'Alcubierre Drive' per se, I had occasion years ago to debunk that 'fantasy' for the benefit of the 'paddoboy' troll at Sciforum (he is 'gone' now; the mods/admin finally realized he was a dumb troll and insults merchant, sabotaging serious science discourse).

Cheers. :)
TopCat22
not rated yet Mar 13, 2017
warp this and warp that.

There are pretty sensible calculations that show that an Alcubierre type drive might be feasible (at the very least nothing in our known physics forbids it). Remember that c is the speed limit within spacetime. But spacetime itself isn't limited to c.
E.g. Inflation after the Big Bang was much 'faster' than that. But that wasn't movement - that was expansion of space.

An Alcubierre drive would use the same principle: Compressing space in front of a craft and extending it in the back. The craft itself would remain, locally, stationary. Nothing in this setup would move faster than c (or at all) - yet you could transport an object to another position at any 'speed' (as measured by a distant observer) only limited by how much you can compress/expand space.
(Of course the expansion part requires negative energy. While it is feasible to generate this locally the amount needed would make it very hard to implement)


a.k.a. Magic
Benni
1 / 5 (3) Mar 13, 2017
An Alcubierre drive would use the same principle:


I had occasion years ago to debunk that 'fantasy' for the benefit of the 'paddoboy' troll at Sciforum


........OK RC, I broke down & gave you one of my occasional 5s, just for you, and just for this one time.

I had to cough & gag my way through that slop & swill antialias_physorg had the unscientific gall to put up. He needs to run this stuff past schneibo before he posts, this way so that he can at least come up with better semantics & avoid making such a hideous mess.

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