A Window into New Physics [of Fast Radio Bursts (FRB)]

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Message 1691480 - Posted: 15 Jun 2015, 4:55:27 UTC

Not sure if the link works outside the USA due to the way PBS/NOVA has set up "world zone" restrictions on their web pages.

A Window into New Physics

In 2007, David Narkevic was using a new algorithm to chug through 480 hours of archived data collected by the Parkes radio telescope in Australia. The data was already six years old and had been thoroughly combed for the repeating drumbeat signals that come from rapidly-rotating dead stars called pulsars.

But Narkevic, a West Virginia University undergrad working under the supervision of astrophysicist Duncan Lorimer, was scouring these leftovers for a different animal: single pulses of unusually bright radio waves that are known to punctuate the rhythm of the most energetic pulsars.

-snip--

Meanwhile, Jayanth Chennamangalam, a former student of Lorimer’s who is now a post-doc at Oxford, is putting the finishes touches on a system that will scan every 100 microseconds of incoming radio data at the Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico for sudden, short pulses. The system, called ALFABURST, will piggyback on the latest iteration of SERENDIP, a spectrometer that’s been tapping the Arecibo’s feed for years, listening for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations. Ultimately, it will be able to alert astronomers to unusual bursts within seconds—fast enough for rapid follow-up at other wavelengths.

Will fast radio bursts turn out to be a window into new physics or just a new perspective on something more familiar? It’s too early to say. But for now, researchers can relish the moment of being maybe, just possibly, on the verge of finding something genuinely new to science.


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Message 1691523 - Posted: 15 Jun 2015, 7:07:21 UTC

I watched it from Italy. Of all scientists mentioned, I know only Carlo Rovelli, who is working on quantum loop gravity theories.
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Message 1691548 - Posted: 15 Jun 2015, 8:51:29 UTC - in response to Message 1691523.  

To me the question is:

Since we have had these in sight for several years why haven't we ruled out or verified that there is or is not an intelligent message in these short bursts.

i think that we know what pulsars are and what causes their spectral emissions. Apparently we think that someone might be modulating these signals ??.
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Message 1691643 - Posted: 15 Jun 2015, 14:12:10 UTC - in response to Message 1691548.  

When pulsars were discovered by Jocelyn Bell in 1967 they were thought to be emitted by "little green men" and the discovery was not immediately made public, until someone found an explanation for them in terms of a rotating neutron star.
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Message 1691648 - Posted: 15 Jun 2015, 14:19:55 UTC - in response to Message 1691643.  

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Message 1691772 - Posted: 15 Jun 2015, 18:00:06 UTC - in response to Message 1691643.  

When pulsars were discovered by Jocelyn Bell in 1967 they were thought to be emitted by "little green men" and the discovery was not immediately made public, until someone found an explanation for them in terms of a rotating neutron star.
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Quite, because their original designation was LGM1 and LGM2, for little green men.
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Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : A Window into New Physics [of Fast Radio Bursts (FRB)]


 
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