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Breakthrough Initiatives teams up with VERITAS to search for coded messages from extraterrestrials

By Polycount ยท 13 replies
Jul 17, 2019
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  1. The scientists in question (from the VERITAS Collaboration) have teamed up with Breakthrough Listen -- the "initiative to find signs of intelligent life in the universe" -- to accomplish this task. The two sides will scan the stars for gamma rays by looking for "extremely brief" (they last for about a nanosecond) flashes of blue "Cherenkov" light, which apparently get emitted when the rays hit the Earth's atmosphere.

    The VERITAS Collaboration's role in this partnership lies in hardware and tool expertise: they are providing the four 12-meter telescopes that will be needed to look for these rays. VERITAS and Breakthrough are hoping the light flashes mentioned above will contain coded messages from alien life forms -- as Engadget aptly puts it, you can think of this project as a hunt for extraterrestrial Morse code.

    Breakthrough says the use of four telescopes instead of one should allow for "very effective discrimination" against false positives.

    Obviously, this entire project is quite a long shot. If there is alien life out there, there's absolutely no guarantee it will look like us, think like us, or communicate like us; much less understand enough about human intelligence to send coded messages our way. However, VERITAS and Breakthrough feel this method is at least worth a try, and given how few results the global hunt for alien life has turned up over the years, it's hard to disagree.

    "When it comes to intelligent life beyond Earth, we don't know where it exists or how it communicates," said Breakthrough founder Yuri Milner. "So our philosophy is to look in as many places, and in as many ways, as we can. VERITAS expands our range of observation even further."

    We'll let you know if this partnership leads to any results, but don't expect anything interesting any time soon.

    Permalink to story.

  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,072   +4,080

    Spare me. Some people will go ro any lengths to avoid work and troll for grants.
    qking and avioza like this.
  3. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 300   +178

    I think the assumption by scientist that Aliens would surely know and use a binary code of ones and zeros is ridiculous. It's too simple and it wastes lots of space. DNA has a code as well but it's not using ones and zeros, but a much more efficient code of 4 variables (AGTC).
    We need to know more about Quantum Mechanics. What if they use Particle Entanglement to communicate? If they do, we can forget about intercepting any communication ever.
    Deffinition: Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated, interact, or share spatial proximity in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the state of the others, even when the particles are separated by a large distance.
    OutlawCecil likes this.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,072   +4,080

    Searching the heavens for extraterrestrial signals is the scientific world's equivalent of crapping out a few illegitimate children, and then demanding the government pay you to take care of them,
  5. Ean Mogg

    Ean Mogg TS Booster Posts: 123   +54

    Exactly who knows what radio communication aliens use as most think if they are a thousand years ahead of us they must using exotic means of communications that surpass even quantum communication so it's basically a waste of money unless you're looking for young races like us who use Radio waves to communicate and the range they're at probably in light years their more than likely move to other forms of communication but that way it's useful to try.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,072   +4,080

    Is that Steven Hawking in the right side of that photo? Or is it just some drunken bored dude who came for the free lunch that looks like him? I only ask since Mr. Hawking died in January of 2018
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  7. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,119   +2,406

    (y) (Y)Right there with you!
  8. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 737   +293

    According to our ancient ancestors, we have never been alone. How did we even learn about astronomy, ancient man had no clue but knew how to understand the sky that modern man wouldn't be able to do let alone understand till hundreds of years, some will even say centuries later.
  9. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 737   +293

    We know more about the moon than our own oceans. We still find creatures in depths on the ocean, some new some that were suppose to be extinct. Some still baffle scientists of how they even were created or got there in the first place.

    In space, we know things can/do live in space. They have proven that. The question is does intelligent life live out there. With so many planets and galaxies, it would be silly that there would be no life out there.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,072   +4,080

    You give the human race far to much credit for "intelligence". In that respect, the odds are likely greater than 1 in a 1000, to possibly 1 in a 1,000,000 will contribute to moving us forward in the the physical sciences necessary to improve our lives. Simple things like controlling our number, and learning to take from nature without destroying it, are pretty much beyond the scope of many individuals, let alone massive groups of people acting in concert.

    Yes, there may be other forms of intelligent life out there. And it's conceit that it is "the most intelligent life ever spawned on its home planet", may well be the same as ours, along with being its ultimate undoing.. I've seen predictions that when a society reaches the level of industrialization we have, it might only last for a few hundred years. Thus, if you expect to talk to them, better do it quick.

    I read this somewhere, "If a highly intelligent life form comes to earth saying they only want to serve us, better ask if it's baked or fried", but the web won't give me the author.

    I does attach to man's principal conceit, that he is evolution's finest creation.

    The truth is, he should be given taxonomic classification in the genus, "Pan" with the other two species of chimpanzee.
    Andromadus likes this.
  11. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 300   +178

    Humans know of 4 dimensions, length, width, depth and time as a 4th. But many theoretical physicists believe we have yet to discover other dimensions. Perhaps as many as 6 or 7 more, and the usage of each of them would seem like impossible magic to us with the actual human knowledge. We don't have the senses nor the technology to detect them (but mathematics could do it one day). Our senses and instruments would obviously get fooled by an alien civilization possessing the knowledge of more dimensions than we do. They could fade in and out of our perception if they can interact with an unknown dimension to us. As well their communications could be happening or be shrouded in a dimension we know nothing about, so obviously we can't intercept those.
  12. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 737   +293

    I meant in the sense that they are intelligent, have thought (can think) not that they would be or are smarter.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,072   +4,080

    Before they speculate that there are other dimensions of which we are unaware and cannot experience, theoretical physicists should be working to solve the mystery of what caused "the big bang", as well as where the material came from to create it in the first place.

    Our probe into, understanding of, and explanation for, that phenomenon, doesn't really take us much past Genesis 1:1

    ....................." In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth".

    I mean hell, multi dimensional theories, have long been a stock sci-ri story line / crutch. / shtick
    Here's one example, from Fox, "Fringe" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fringe_(TV_series)
  14. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 300   +178

    "E=MC2 Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared." On the most basic level, the equation says that energy and mass (matter) are interchangeable; they are different forms of the same thing. Under the right conditions, energy can become mass, and vice versa.
    SO before the big bang there was just a void with an incredible amount of energy in one area. It suddenly became matter in an instant when the conditions were right. That seems like freaking magic to us of course because we haven't yet discovered so many things. That's like trying to solve a puzzle when you're blind and you only have a small percentage of the pieces. We can only make theories and try to confirmed them with mathematics. That was successful for the speed of light and for Black Holes. The theoretical physicists are the pioneers for those who will solve the mysteries of the Universe in the next decades or centuries. They have to start somewhere.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019

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