SETI Institute Weekly Colloquium
At the Microsoft Campus in Mountain view
1065 La Avenida St, Mountain View CA
FREE and open to the public. Tuesdays, noon to 1pm
The field of evolution and explosion of massive stars has progressed tremendously in the past half-century, yet there are still many issues remain at large. In this talk, soon to be Dr. Sukhbold will provide a generic overview of the problem and will discuss recent developments on surveying the explosion outcomes of massive stars (nucleosynthesis, remnants, light curves) through 1-dimensional calculations
In 2010, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the laboratory CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, began its exploration of physics at distances 10,000 smaller than an atomic nucleus. The first data-taking period of the LHC ran from 2010 to 2013, colliding protons at energies of 7 and 8 TeV (trillion electron volts). Many novel observations were made, including the discovery of the long-sought Higgs boson. However, the most fundamental questions that motivated the LHC remain unanswered. The second data-taking period of the LHC began last summer, at the higher energy of 13 TeV. Results from the first batch of higher-energy data have already shifted the landscape, with more powerful exclusion of some hypotheses and tantalizing hints supporting others. The results from the next batch of data are highly anticipated; they will be announced in early August. In this talk, I will review the search for new basic interactions in nature and the experimental methods that the LHC brings to this question. I will describe the implications of the first data at 13 TeV and preview some of the results that might appear later this summer.
Abstract: The Solar System furnishes the most familiar planetary architecture: many planets, orbiting nearly coplanar to one another. We can examine the composition and atmospheres of the Solar System planets in detail, even occasionally in situ. Studies of planets orbiting other stars (exoplanets), in contrast, only begin to approach the precision of humanity's knowledge of Earth five hundred years ago. I will describe a two-pronged approach to the study of exoplanets. One approach involves time-intensive investigations of individual planets to eke out bulk density or single molecules in the planetary atmosphere. Another involves studies of the ensemble properties of planetary systems, and addresses the question of a "typical" planetary system in the Milky Way. In an era with thousands of exoplanet discoveries in hand and thousands more to follow in short order, a judicious combination of these approaches is emerging. I'll showcase some of my own detailed findings of other worlds (placing Earth in context), in addition to wider-field studies of typical planet occurrence and formation. I'll close with an opportunity, using an existing data set, to make inroads into the singular question driving much of exoplanetary science: the detectability of signatures of life.
(1) saving civilization on Earth from the worst ravages of climate change by scaled-up 2F-MSBRs;
(2) using the fission fragments of related nuclear fission reactions for ion-propulsion that produces rockets two to three orders of magnitude faster than achievable with chemical rockets, making possible, perhaps, a first generation of starships.
In 1960 two seminal papers in SETI were published, providing two visions for SETI. Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison’s proposed detecting deliberate radio signals ("communication SETI"), while Freeman Dyson ("artifact SETI"), proposed detecting the inevitable effects of massive energy supplies and artifacts on their surroundings. While communication SETI has now had several career-long practitioners, artifact SETI has, until recently, not been a vibrant field of study.
The launch of the Kepler and WISE satellites have greatly renewed interest in the field, however, and the recent Breakthrough Listen Initiative has provided new motivation for finding good targets for communication SETI. Dr. Wright will discuss the progress of the Ĝ Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations with Large Energy Supplies, including its justification and motivation, waste heat search strategy and first results, and the framework for a search for megastructures via transit light curves. The last of these led to the identification of KIC 8462852 (a.k.a. "Tabby's Star") as a candidate ETI host. This star, discovered by Boyajian and the Zooniverse Planet Hunters, exhibits several apparently unique and so-far unexplained photometric properties, and continues to confound natural explanation.