Physics @ Berkeley
Physics in the News
Title: Grants Help Scientists Explore Boundary Between Science And Scienc Fiction
Date: 10/05/2012
Publication: Berkeley News Center Article
Editor: Robert Sanders
Extended Text:

Two University of California, Berkeley, scientists have received research grants to explore areas of science that bleed into science fiction.

Lasers in use by telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. If aliens elsewhere in the galaxy use lasers for astronomy or communications, we may be able to detect them from Earth. Courtesy of Keck Observatory.

Astronomer Geoff Marcy, who kicked off the search for extrasolar planets 20 years ago, plans to rummage through data from the Kepler space telescope in search of evidence for civilizations advanced enough to have built massive orbiting “solar” power stations.

Theoretical physicist Raphael Bousso will look for ways of detecting universes other than our own, and try to understand what these alternate universes, or multiverses, will look like.

Marcy and Bousso are among 20 innovative researchers who will share more than $4 million in New Frontiers in Astronomy & Cosmology International Grants that were announced Thursday, Oct. 4, by the University of Chicago. The grants were made possible through funding from the Pennsylvania-based John Templeton Foundation as a way to encourage scientists and students worldwide to explore fundamental, big questions in astronomy and cosmology that engage groundbreaking ideas on the nature of the universe.

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