Uncovering Hidden UAP? | Surviving a Black Hole w/ Avi Loeb

Uncovering Hidden UAP? | Surviving a Black Hole w/ Avi Loeb

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John Michael Godier  Dr. Avi Loeb welcome back to the program now.  Dr You worked extensively in black holes and the   theories regarding them and now we actually have  a picture a picture of sorts of satutarius a star. Avi Loeb Thanks for having me.

John Michael Godier What's your reaction to that. What   what did you think upon seeing the image of the  central supermassive black hole of the milky way. Avi Loeb Well, in fact, two decades ago I worked on   the the expected image that we might get  and in fact I am brought to the center   for astrophysics at Harvard. The the person who  funded. Founded the event horizon telescope so we   started the work from there and I I was involved  in the early stages of the project promoting it   and making theoretical predictions for what they  might find and we actually wrote a paper with my   postdoctoral fellow Ayprodrick. Ah. Arguing  that it's not the black hole at the center  

of the milky way that the only one that we should  look at it. There is another one in the galaxy m   8 7 and we wrote the first paper talking about it  and forecasting the image of that black hole and   it ended up being the first one. Ah, of which an  image was ah publicized m ad 7 is a galaxy that is   about and 2000 times far than the black hole at  the center of the milky way galaxy but the the   black hole there is 1500 times. Ah, bigger ah, in  mass so you end up with an image of the silhouette   which has roughly the same angle on the sky and  you can detect both of them and ah so I'm you know   I'm really pleased to see those images the face  of the black hole in the middle of the milky way   galaxy and. Now that we have that image. It can  be a tourist destination and you might ask? Why  

would the tourists go there? Well um, if you go  to the location for example of the photon ring.   It's really an amazing place because you can look.  Forward and see your back because light makes a   full circle around the black hole. Also if you get  close to the horizon of the black hole. Ah time is  

ticking more slowly there so you can outlive. Ah.  Your friends on earth in a sense because time is   progressing more slowly there. Ah and then  also you know I can imagine that we we can   give discounted tickets to ah string theories.  To go there because if they get close to the   singularity of the black hole they can test their  ideas and of course these will be 1 way. Tickets. John Michael Godier Do you think that black   holes because of that reason that Alien scientists  could go there and start testing string theory and   things like that. Do you think that we're looking.  We're barking up the wrong tree perhaps by looking  

for techno signatures when we should really  be looking at black Holes. For any evidence   of Alien civilizations because that's where  they would locate their physics Labs. Perhaps. 06:50.58 Avi Loeb  No I mean if you think about about it  in practical terms. The only benefit   of being close to a black hole is that you  can throw your trash to the black hole and   get clean energy in return and the efficiency  of converting trash into clean energy.  

Is the highest that you can imagine because ah  about 10% of the rest mass can be converted to   radiation in the vicinity of a black hole.  So that's ah, a practical way of getting ah   a lot for for what you deposit there and um.  So. Other than that, it's actually quite a risky   environment because objects move very fast near a  black hole and that can create a lot of friction   and damage to anything that you possess and  moreover very often these environments light   up with. Matter that is falling into the black  hole shines very brightly because it hits up and   so it's a risky environment. In fact, we wrote  a scientific paper saying that if the black hole   at the center of the milky way. Sagitar says  star were were to be fed. Ah, right now. It's.  

Starving and that's why we can look through  the galaxy and and get very close to imaging   the shadow of the black hole. But if it  were fed I mean it's actually underfed by   almost a billion times then than what it can be  fed with and if it was fed a billion times more   then. Ah, all the habitable planets  out to a distance of a few thousand   lighters from it could have been ah, sterilized.  There is ultraviolet radiation there there are   x-rays emitted by such a black hole when when it  a creates a lot of gas and and and therefore it.   You know life is not easy close to it and so  I would actually cautionshen civilization from   getting too close to a black hole. We are located  the sun is located twenty Four Thousand light   years away from the center of the milkyan  that's ah, a relatively safe environment.  

And and it might not be by chance and you  know if we were much closer than episodes of   and the black hole at the center lighting  up could have sterilized the earth. John Michael Godier Now people have brought   that up before then said that the  orientation of of sagitary as a star   might actually be pointed at us the Relativistic  Jet might be pointed at us does this new image   clear that up I mean what is the orientation of  it towards us and. If something if it started   creating a bunch of matter could that be a problem  if the Relativistic jet is pointed towards us. Avi Loeb Yeah, so first of all, we don't know that   this black hole produces jets usually jets are  produced by black holes that are spinning and   so there are 2 questions here whether the black  hole is spinning and the second is. Whether the   orientation of the pole the the direction of the  spin is towards us because that's usually the   direction of the jet and then um, the the event  horizon telescope team. Um. Produced a lot of  

computer models trying to simulate the image that  was observed and they claim that among you know   the many models that they looked at the ones  that appeared most consistent with the data.   Ah correspond to. And nearly face on  situation where you know if there is a jet we   we are in its direction so to speak and also ah  to a situation where the black hole is spinning   and I think. This conclusion may not be right  because and ah for 1 thing the chance of   the black hole to be pointing at us the jet  pointing at us is really small and because that   would mean that it's you know. Pemppendicular  to the direction of the disc of the milk way.  

So if you imagine material from the disc of  the milky way falling into the black hole,   then the black hole should be spinning in the  plane of the milky way galaxy but what you need   here is that since we are in the plane you need  it. To be spinning exactly penmendicular to that   which seems really strange and um, the other  thing is we analyzed with a postdoctoral fellow   jacomo fragian we analyzed the orbits of the  stars in the vicinity of the black hole and.   And they seem to lie in 2 preferred planes.  The the stars near the black hole and   just like the planets moving around the sun.  There seem to be 2 planes from where they   they orbit and um and. We showed that  if the black hole was spinning then   Einstein's theory of general relativity would  have basically blurred those planes you wouldn't   you wouldn't see 2 distinct planes because on a  relatively short time. Scale. The stars would.

Avi Loeb Shift away from the original birth   plane that they were at so we were able to argue  that the spin of the black hole must be small   and that is opposite to the inference from  the event horizon telescope image and so my   guess and Mark my words is that. Something in the  models that they were considering or using did not   include all the physics. You know they didn't have  all the ingredients that they should have had to   produce ah proper images of the black hole and.  Obviously to generate the image you need to assume   something about how matter is falling into the  black hole how it moves around it. How you produce   the radiation. There are a lot of uncertainties  in on these issues and they must have assumed or   explored a certain range of parameters. But my  guess is. They they they are missing something  

and that's why they reach those conclusions  which do not seem to be very likely to me. John Michael Godier And now the formation of a non-rotating   black hole. So you you know? of course you  have a a star collapsing in on itself and   standard black hole formation that if that  star's rotating. It's going to rotate faster  

and faster as it Collapses. So How do  you create. A non-rotating black hole. Avi Loeb Oh yeah, so first thing to keep   in mind is this black hole at the center of the  milky way is 4000000 times the mass of the sun.   Okay, so it's 4000000 it weighs as much as four  million Suns so it it was not the result of the   collapse of of a massive star. Um. But it was a  result of and infa of gas into a seed black hole  

or the mergers of many black holes now if you  imagine mergers or even ah accretion of gas you   know through episodes. So. At some point in time.  There is a cloud of gas falling into the center   and it's orbiting in ah in some plane. Okay,  some preferred direction. It will give the   black hole spin according to the direction that  it's orbiting in and then if there is another   cloud of gas coming in a different direction. It  will. Give a different and spin orientation and so   you keep adding these episodes and they add up if  they add up randomly you will end up with no spin   and in the same way if you were to merge black  holes suppose each black hole has some spin but   but they arrive to the. Merger point at you know  at random then you would average out the spins of  

all the building blocks that you put together to  make the final black hole so it will average up   out to 0 so 1 way 1 simple way of getting very low  spin is. If you were to start with building blocks   each of which were randomly oriented and then you  put them together and they cancel out so you end   up with a very small spin on the other hand the  way to build a very high spin is if instead of   having many building blocks. For example, you have  1 major episode of. Growth for the black hole and   you always maintain the same orientation of the  matter that falls into the black hole so you keep   adding and rotation in the same direction and then  you get a final black hole that is spinning very   fast. So it all depends on the history of how this  black hole came to exist. And in the context of  

galaxies like the milky way. You would think  that you know there were many episodes of small   building blocks coming together and that's  why a very low spin is is quite likely. John Michael Godier And is there any effect and I   would imagine. There's not but you would know  and I would not that is there an effect on a  

spinning black hole and the behavior of its event  Horizon. In other words, if you imagine a star   that's spinning very rapidly. It will sort of  crush you know and and. Long gate can that happen   to a black hole or or does just the laws of  gravity prevent it from being anything except   an identical event Horizon  to a non-spinning black hole. 26:04.34 Avi Loeb  Oh no, no, we we know the solution to Einstein's  equations of general relativity in the case of a   black hole with any arbitrary spin and  this is called the care solution. It.   After a physicist with a last- name  keer that ah lived in New Zealand and um   um, and and that allows for any arbitrary spin and  now of course the event horizon the location of   and and the shape of the event horizon  depends on the spin. So. Just to give  

you the 2 extremes when you have a non-spinning  black called 0 spin that is the solution that   Schwartel Carr schwartel derived back in nineteen  Fifteen a few months after Albert Einstein ah   came with equations einstein published  his equations in November on the. November   Nineteen Fifteen and then then a few months later  he couldn't get ah an analytics solution to the   full equations and Karl Sch watching he basically  volunteered to serve in the german military.   He was the director of the observatory at Potsdam  at the time and about forty years old and felt   very loyal to the german nation and volunteered  to the military and went to the german front and   and then derived the solution while being there  to Einstein's equation that sent. Einstein a   postscard with a solution Einstein was thrilled  to to receive it and and publicize this solution   and then a few months later kar schwatcher  died at the front from some rare lung disease   and just to illustrate the fact that if you want  to. Derive the consequences of e theory you better   be a pacifist than being a patriot because then  you have more time to work out the solutions.   So at any event Einstein was a pacifist schwartzer  was a patriot and therefore einstein had more time   to derive consequences of his theory later on.  But at any even the the schwatz's solution is the  

solution of a black hole a point mass and that's  for a non-spinning black hole that has no spin and   and the solution is really simple. Um, there is ah  an event horizon at a distance that is twice times   neuttons constant times the mass of the black  hole. Divided by the speed of light squirld. Okay,   and that's called the schwartzel horizon and  it's spherical. It's a spherical shell around   the point mass in the middle of it. There is  a singularity where Einstein's theory breaks   down. We don't know what happens we you need to  incorporate quantum mechanics to figure out to.

Avi Loeb But what happens   near the singularity because the curvature  of space and time diverges there so clearly   Einstein's theory doesn't have quantum mechanics.  That's why it breaks down at the singularity.   Um, and and we still don't have that unification  of quantum mechanics and gravity. So we are still   faced with that that problem. But at any event  and about the um, you know, ah more than half  

a century later care derived the the solution  for a spinning black hole and and that's quite   different in the case where the black hole is  spinning fastest near the speed of light. Um.   In that case, the horizon shrinks by a factor of 2  so it becomes half the and in the equatorial plane   half the the schwartel rad use and then it's  squashed and the the horizon is not spherical   anymore. And there are lots of interesting  phenomena there. Um, and that we don't have time   to get into in the care case. But in principle  you can extract energy from a spinning black hole   by having matter near it or matter with a magnetic  field. It's sort of like a flywheel that you can   tap. And extract energy from so the spin of  the black hole and we believe that the jets   are that we see in in ah in in distant  galaxies that move near the speed of light   are being powered by the extraction of energy  from this flywheel. Of a spinning black hole.

John Michael Godier Now 1 question about Kerr now in his ideas.   There is the concept of the cur ring in a  spinning black hole and where you you know   you don't have a point you have a a ring and  my question is now some people have advanced.   The concept of maybe this is a wormhole. Maybe  this leads somewhere. Do you think that has  

legs or do you think it's just simply a dead end.  You don't go anywhere. You just hit you just hit.   You know you just add your mask to the black  hole as opposed to actually going anywhere   if you could get through it with some sort  of exotic matter or whatever that you know. Avi Loeb Ah.

John Michael Godier People have pointed   out but do you think that that it is a solution   possibly that it's a rip in spacetime that  happens in the center of the black hole. Avi Loeb Okay, so first Roy Kare   derived his solution a year after I was born 1963  it's fifty nine years ago almost sixty years ago   before that. Um. Einstein together with  Nathan Rosen were wondering you know for   the Schwartel solution. Ah you know what lies  inside and if matter falls into it. You know  

what happens to it. Can it go somewhere else. Um,  and they came up with a paper that suggested some   bridge that you can sort of imagine 2 schwat's  solutions where if you know matter getting into   one of them comes out from the other side or. And  then that led to additional work on on wormholes   now the situation right now is um without quantum  mechanics. These wormholes cannot exist because  

um, they basically snap. Ah. On a timescale that  is too short for anyone to go through them for any   matter to go through them. So Einstein's theory  of gravity doesn't really allow it. But then   if you imagine quantum mechanics being  incorporated in a way that you know you make   the wormhole from matter that is. Quite unusual  and method that has negative pressure which we   you know don't have access to. We cannot engineer  such substance. But nevertheless if you imagine   a substance with negative pressure I should  say. Ah, we do know that the universe has such  

substance. It's called dark energy which causes  the accelerated expansion of the universe. But   that's considered to be the energy of the vacuum  and we don't know how to manipulate it to make a   wormhole for example, but if you imagine that you  can do that the question is do can can we imagine   solutions. Involve wormholes with that made out of  and material that has negative pressure and people   have tried to derive such solutions their claims  recently that they can have such such stable   entities black wormholes that you can go through  but I would say all of these are tentative claims.   You know. First for the reason that we don't have  in our possession. The ability to engineer such  

matter with negative pressure and second  because even the mathematics is not yet   on a solid footing. So right now I would  probably bet that you know worm so wormholes. Avi Loeb Do not exist in nature that   we can't make such things but let's see I mean  you know physics is only a century. The modern   physics is only a century Old. We Still don't  have a unified theory that Marries Quantum   mechanics with Gravity. So You know there  might there might be surprises in the future.

John Michael Godier Now about surprises and   about the current state of where we're at. Do you  think within our reasonable lifetime. We will see   a unified theory that that bridges the gap between  Quantum mechanics and general relativity and. Avi Loeb So here is what I learned in the   about 4 decades that I practiced physics  I learned that the only way for us to make   real progress in our understanding of nature  is by being guided by evidence by experiments   and. The same should apply to how to  unify quantum mechanics and gravity I mean   the the thing is that very brave theorists. You  know like four decades ago thought that they can   just do it by pure thing pure thought and  so the the most you know the most popular.  

Ah, theory right? now is string theory but  they thought that it would lead them along   a path such that they would be able to get  ah a single solution and turns out there are   many possibilities and that's exactly why we  need experiments. We need evidence to guide us   nobody would have thought about quantum mechanics  a century ago. Unless experiments told us that   indeed it exists and Einstein actually had  difficulties interpreting quantum mechanics he was   resisting the the simple interpretation of  those experiments and he was wrong. He thought   that the entanglement is not real and. Ah, now we  use it in devices you know quantum computers and   so forth. So I mean it was clearly not intuitive  to him and and nobody would have come with quantum  

mechanics out of pure thought okay and just to  think that we can figure out nature without doing   experiments I think is very arrogant. So the the  only way by which we can make progress is through   experiments through evident collecting evidence  nature is much more imaginative than we are   so my point is we tried to to follow the path  of string theory just based on pure thought for.   By now four decades. We haven't yet come up with  any predictions that can be tested experimentally   and what are the avenues for us to make progress.  Well there are 2 places in the universe where   quantum gravity is needed 1 is near the big bang.  You know what happened close to the beginning of  

the universe back then the you know the conditions  were such that both quantum mechanics and gravity   were important and the second is the singularities  of black holes so by getting more data on black   holes. We may get closer to. Seeing things that  guide us we can also get closer to the big bang   by peering back in time detecting for  example, gravitational waves from that time or   other signatures. These are the best  hopes for us to be guided and I would. Avi Loeb Basically say let's   wait until we get to the point where we where  we get some experimental evidence about perhaps   the singularity of the big bang. All the  singularities of black holes and before   we get there before we have something to guide  us. We might be going in the wrong directions. 49:09.50 John Michael Godier 

Now Some people have pointed out that the universe  and the big bang somewhat resembles a black hole   in certain ways. Do you think this is superficial  or do you think that's actually a a helpful   direction to go in to look at it. Whether or not  we live in the interior of a black hole or not. 49:43.76 Avi Loeb 

Yeah, so the big bang ah was a singularity and  indeed in black holes. You do have a singularity   but they are of a different type the the big  bang singularity was a singularity in time.   There was a point in time you know we  know the universe is expanding if we.   Go back in time. There was a point in time where  the density of matter and radiation were infinite.   You just you know as the universe expands. It.  It gets Rarefid. But if you go back in time.   There was a point where everything diverges you  know and and that's called the big bang and. And  

that was a singularity in time. It was not  in space because the universe started pretty   much uniform very close to being uniform. We know  that by looking at the cosmic microve background.   We know that the conditions for example, four  hundred thousand years after the big bang.   The conditions were uniform throughout the  universe. 1 part in 100000 you know that's a very   we we measured it. We measured the small changes  between 1 location in the universe and another  

at that early time by observing the cosmic micro  rebecon and the differences were tiny. One part in   100000 so the universe started uniform. In space  to 1 part in a 0 but it had a singularity in time   when you consider a black hole. It's it's exactly  the opposite. In fact, the Schwatz's solution   is a solution for. A stationary object an object  that doesn't evolve in time you know it's it's   the same at all times, but it has a singularity in  space. Ah so to speak in the sense that inside the  

event horizon there is a point where you know the  curvature diverges and. That's probably where all   the matter goes when it falls into a black hole.  You know I had once a flood in in the basement   at my home and I called the plumber we went  down and we found that there were tree roots ah   blocking this sewer and we cleared the three  roots. And then it led me in those hours when   we were working on that it led me to  think about what happens to the matter   that goes into a black hole because until then you  know I was just taking it for granted that all the   water in in my home is going down the drain and  I don't care where it goes you know, but once it.   This sewer got clogged. It reminded me that there  is a place where that collects the water and so I   thought okay matter falls into a black hole where  does it go now you can imagine 2 things you can   imagine just like the sewer case and that it goes  through ah the black hole into some other space.

Avi Loeb Time you know some other universe or something   another possibility is that you know this source  is clogged. Okay, so there is an object that   collects the matter on it and this object could  have the maximum density that we can imagine.   For example, it's called the plank density where  you know that's the maximum density that you can   achieve. Matter and you can just imagine this  object ah collecting all the matter that falls   onto it at the plank density and being there at  the center we can't see it because it's hidden   behind the event horizon and we don't know what  the answer is and unless we you know we if we.   Go on a journey into ah a black hole. We would  figure it out but it would be too late because we   would crash on on this object. We wouldn't be able  to communicate it back to the rest of the world.  

You know? Ah, but it's a very interesting question  and and it's unsovved at the moment we don't know   what the right answer is. And 1 way to figure  it out is if we had a theory of quantum gravity.   It would make a prediction about what happens  to the matter as it falls into a black hole. John Michael Godier Now that might be an interesting   tangent to go on the the environment of a black  hole were you falling into it now I would imagine   that your first problem as you fell into the  black hole would be the accretion disc and   the immense heat and x-rays everything that's  coming off of that. But then Spaghheification.   So even if and we're barring exotic matter  here. But even if you were simply falling   into the black hole. You probably wouldn't  even make it to the event horizon right.

Avi Loeb Oh no, so an astronaut would make it a star   like the sun would not make it in the case of  sagitar say star the black or at the middle of of   the galaxy. But in ma 7 just to give an example  in the case of m seven even a star would get   swallowed whole. Ah, once it enters to the event.  It will not get ah spaghettified and the reason is   that the bigger the black hole the  more massive. The black hole is   the less curvature of space and time there  is at the horizon. So. It's really the tidal   effect the you know the the same effect that  the moon exerts on the oceans. That's called  

tides I mean so the moon is closer to one side of  the earth and it pulls on the water on the surface   of earth you know and and makes you know. And and  makes a bulge and and and that's the tide that we   see in the ocean on the side closer to the moon.  Ah, it's just the difference in the gravitational   force that the moon exerts on the two sides of the  earth on one side. The the force is stronger and   that's why the water comes. You know more to that  side. So that's called the tide and if you imagine   an object like a black hole and a  star like the sun getting close to it   then the the black hole will will exert a tide  on the star. So it will act more strongly on the   side closer to the black hole. Gravitationally  and if the the difference enforces between the  

two sides of the star if that difference is  bigger than the force that binds the star the   gravitational force that the star is bound by  then the star will get ripped apart and and get   so. Paaghetified as you were alluding to  that's called the tidal disruption of a star   and for black holes like the one in the  middle of the milky way such stars a star   indeed a star getting within 10 times the  schwartshid radius of the star of the of the black   hole. The star would get. Spaghetified a star  like the the sun and we calculate that roughly   every hundred thousand years such a thing happens  because stars get scattered to the vicinity of the   black hole and you get such. You get a flare  that results from the disruption of the star.   But. A human an astronaut is much smaller than a  star like the sun and it's not held by the force  

of gravity. It's held by chemistry. So if an  astronaut gets close to the horizon of sagitary   say star nothing will happen to the astronaut  because the size of the body of the astronaut is. Avi Loeb Only a couple of   meters. You know the sun is much bigger and so  the difference between the toes and the head  

of the astronaut the difference in forces you  know is not big enough to rip the astronaut apart   except when the astronaut falls into the horizon  eventually. It gets close to the singularity.   Where the force is big enough and the astronaut  will be ripped apart by the way I once explained   that to students in the class of my in the  kindergarten. My daughter invited me to   to speak in front of the class and I explained  this and then the teacher stopped me in the   middle of the story and said. Please stop and the  the kids would have nightmares if you continue   so I I mean they were fascinated by this question  of what happens to an astronaut now. The 1 thing  

I wanted to mention is if you make the black  hole even bigger than sagitar say star then   if you make it like. Bigger than 100000000  times the mass of the sun instead of 4000000   the mass of sagitar se star then then even a star  like the sun will not get ripped apart because   the black hole is so big that there is not much  curvature in its vicinity near the horizon. So so   a black hole like m eighty seven. If a star  comes close to it. It doesn't get ripped  

apart. It can go through the horizon eventually  when it gets close to the singularity. It will   get ripped apart but we won't see that  because it's hidden behind the horizon   so tidal disruption events of stars happen only  you know for relatively. Small black holes and   I should say there is another risk of being  near black or that 2 stars can collide with   each other. This is a process that I wrote a paper  with ah my student on just last year and and those   collisions can be very powerful because. Tars are  moving close to the speed of light near black.   Also imagine you know 2 stars like the sun that  happened to collide with each other. They would  

release a huge amount of energy. You would have an  explosion if they were to collide near black hole. John Michael Godier And colliding stars all right   now this has got to be 1 of the few ways this  can happen because if you if you have a merger   like the coming merger with the andromeda Galaxy.  It's unlikely that stars will hit each other but   in ah in a black hole environment. They can. Um,  is this something that could create something like   a Gamma Ray burst or one of the unexplained you  know, ah fast radio burst or something like that's   just mysterious signals that we see in nature  could this be a possible starting point for that.

Avi Loeb Yeah, well it could be with respect   to gammay bursts. We think that the the 2 classes  of of ah processes that lead to Gammay bursts 1 is   when you have a star core collapsing the core of  a massive star collapsing to make a black hole.   This is a stellar mass black hole that weighs  somewhere between a few times the mass of the sun   up to a hundred times the mass of the sun in that  case, um, the black hole can produce a jet if it's   spinning and the jet will drill a hole. Through  the envelope of the star and you would see it as  

a gamma ray burst. So that's one and we know that  this happens because we see that in the case of   long duration gammay bursts that last many seconds  that in fact, very often. They're followed by   an exploding star. And 1 way to understand it  I mean we see the afterglow. We see a supernova   that takes off afterwards. But basically the  the when the jet drills ah cavity through this  

stellar envelope. It also releases energy and  pushes the envelope to make the star explode   so that is. That is one type of gammery burst  sources and the second type is when you have 2   neutron stars. A neutron star is um, the core  of a massive star that and ends up collapsing   but doesn't make a black hole. It makes a. Star  that with a density similar to the atomic nucleus   but the size of a city like Boston 10 kilometers  in size and then such a a star the mass of the   sun a size of a city is is very compact and  dense. And it's called a neutron star and we   know that the supernova explosions very often  lead to the formation of a neutron star. We  

actually saw evidence for that in the  case of 1 nearby supernova in 1987 that   led to the production of neutrinos which indicate.  The formation of a neutron star. So anyway, when 2   neutron stars are in a binary system in in a pair  and they collide then you can get a gammay burst   in a jet that is generated out of that collision  and. Another interesting aspect of that collision   of 2 neutron stars is that you eject some material  rich in neutrons out of this collision and   turns out that this is probably the the  most prolific source of the heavy elements. Avi Loeb And that are called   our process elements like ah gold or uranium  the sources of all evil on earth you know gold   if we were just close to a neutron star merger  event. We would have a huge amount of gold   available to us on earth. It's just that  you know these collisions are so rare that   gold is precious because on average there is  not much gold. But if we if the earth was born  

would have been born close to a site where  2 neutrons stars collided and we would have   plenty of gold everywhere. Ah, and then  uranium in much the same way. You know?   So. Ah, if you imagine civilizations that happen  to be born close to a neutron star merger event.   You know they would have a lot of gold gold  and potentially a lot of nuclear weapons.

John Michael Godier  Just what we need a universe full of of nuclear  weapons now my last question for you is to get   it to get weird in regarding regards to the  environment of a black hole now a star is not   the only thing that can fall into a black hole.  You could have a neutron star. You know, very high   density object or you could have 2 stars colliding  and correct me if I'm wrong I think this is the   Chandra sehar limit where you you actually have  something collapse into a black hole right next   to the black hole because 2 stars collided can  that can that occur I mean and can we detect it. Avi Loeb Oh yeah, definitely? Um,   so what we most easily detect is radiation and  light and any such and event of the type that   you mentioned is results in an explosion that  the. Is very bright and actually the future   is quite exciting in this context because there  is the Vera Rubin observatory that was funded by   the national science foundation and it will start  the operations in Chile. Ah, within a year and   it will monitor the sky with a three point  two billion pixel camera that's remarkable.  

Just think about it. Ah three point two billion  pixels come back to the same point in the sky   every four days so it basically scans then tar  sky we would have an unprecedented ah flood   of data on events that are transient in the  sky we have. Never had a telescope of this size   collecting so much data. Um, and that would  allow us to find a lot of explosions in the   universe and presumably some of the type that you  just described and I very much look forward now.  

The question is how do we catalog them and. Now  we have artificial intelligence so we can train   you know the the old way of looking at  Transientence was for fritzwiki to and look   for a supernova explosions and and give them  names you know and so individuals would see. A   source of light in the sky that didn't exist  the night before or something like that and   even amateur astronomers. You know the and the  supernova ninety eighty seven was discovered by   an amateur astronomer. So um, the the modern way  of doing it is to rely on. Ai. Scientists you know   artificial intelligence scientists that would go  through the pipeline of you know the the data that   comes through the pipeline of ah the verra rubin  observatory it's called the the legacy survey   of space and time lssd and we'll basically search  for interesting transients and and then of course   the astronomers. Will have to make sense of that  data and I very much look forward to that. That's  

what makes astronomy exciting and we might find  a lot of things that we haven't noticed before. John Michael Godier Now looking for transient events   and that brings up the Galileo project. Um  I noticed that you recently inaugurated your   first instruments in the search for uipp on the  roof of Harvard can you give us an overview of. Avi Loeb Yeah, so ah,   we are putting together the first telescope  system and I should say the weather is pretty bad   in Massachusetts though there was  never a major astronomical discovery   made from the roof of the harvard college  observatory even though there are some. John Michael Godier What you built.

Avi Loeb Telescoppes there that date   back one hundred and seventy years um so the only  reason we are doing it. There. Well first of all I   I work at harvardard university okay, and and  the funding of the project is coming from my   research fund but we're doing it just to make  sure that. The system works. Okay, so that's   the first system we're testing it. We're making  sure that everything works to our satisfaction   and that's a convenient place to put  it together and it includes um, ah   cameras in the infrared and invisible light that  are monitoring the sky all the time. Basically   taking a video of the sky and also um a passive  radio. Ah sensor um, basically a radar passive  

radar system that looks for reflected radio waves  from objects in the sky and. The data will and   also an audio system I should mention that as well  and all of the data will be fed into a computer   system that will have software to analyze it and  try to identify the objects that we see in the sky   and tell us whether they are birds. Or maybe  drones or maybe airplanes or anything that   else and of course if we see something that  doesn't quite fall into categories that we can   understand easily that would be intriguing  and this is the first system that we want to.  

Basically make sure works according to our  specifications and then hopefully by August   we will have it done with data and demonstrate  that it works. We plan to have the first in-person   conference of the gallo project where we will  look at that. Those results and then plan ahead.   The question is where to put that system so that  it will start getting real data of interest and   we will have to select a site for it and then  we will make copies of that system and put them   in and in different locations and. The number  of copies we make will depend on the funding   that the project has so at the moment we  have funding for at least a few such copies   and then I should say another exciting thing that  is going on is ah back in 2019 I asked my student   to let. To look at the catalog of government data  on meteors because um I asked him to check if   any of the meteors there indicates an object  that came from outside the solar system and. Avi Loeb Ah, we looked at   the fastest moving objects and found that the  second fastest was actually unbound to the sun   very clearly moving at sixty kilometers per second  outside the solar system and then we wrote a paper   about it. But then the reviewers of the paper  said we don't believe the government we don't.  

They don't provide us with the full full access  to the data with the uncertainties in the data   and therefore the paper should not be published  and I try to work with colleagues that have   access to the actual classified data and so that  they would make a statement behind. The national   security fence saying that our conclusions you  know whether our conclusions are robust or not   and actually just and last month there was a  letter that was publicized from ah the us space   command under the department of defense. From  the Pentagon ah to Nasa stating that they confirm   that our conclusion that this meteor came from  outside the solar system is correct at the 99.999  

confidence. Okay, so that's an example of the  government coming. To the help of science and   confirming what we concluded with my student  Amir Sirraj back in 2019 and now the next   step is to go and scoop the fragments from that  meteor on the ocean floor near Papua New Guinea   and we are currently planning the expedition  to do that because that would be the first time   that we can put our hands on material from an  object. You know that is half a meter in size that   came from outside the solar system that would be  very exciting and from the. Ah, the government did   1 more thing they released data on the fireball  the the light that was emitted when this object   burned in the lower atmosphere and analyzing  this light curve led us to conclude that the   object was very tough. It was tougher than  an iron meteorite it but tougher than iron.  

Because it burned it disintegrated only  in the lower atmosphere of the earth   and so that makes it very intriguing. It was  moving really fast twice as fast compared to   stars near the sun and that makes it rare in  that regard an outlier. Ah, less than 5% of all   stars moved that fast as this object was moving  relative to the so system and then ah moreover   it was tougher than iron or similar to iron  and so that only 5% of all the space rocks.

Avi Loeb Are iron meteorites. The   rest are stony meteorites and so this object  is clearly an outlier It's the first object   that burned up that was identified to come from  outside the solar system. Actually it was found   almost four years before omua mua was discovered.  And so we are planning to scoop its fragments   from the ocean floor and see what it was made  of and my of course interest is to figure out   whether it was an iron meteorite  or maybe artificial in origin. John Michael Godier Now How can you? how close can you constrain   where to look in other words, you know you  can see the track of the meteor and you can   work out about where it you know would have  fallen which I actually recently spoke to him here   about this that it's probably in the ocean.  And so how do you constrain down exactly   where to drag a magnet basically to try  to you know recover some material from it.

Avi Loeb Um, so based on   the Dod data on the fireball and based on acoustic  data that we have we can try and triangulate   where it may land and may have landed and ah  we can. Now the 1 thing to keep in mind is   when a meteor explodes in the lower atmosphere  then you end up with a spray of fragments and   sort of like iron rain. You know if you were to  use an umbrella. It wouldn't you know, protect you   because these are. Iron droplets that are you  know ° hot you know and they would make a hole   in your umbrella but imagine them spraying on the  ocean surface. There would be a lot of steam as a   result of that and then eventually they would land  on the ocean floor but there would be some large.

Avi Loeb Um, you know   over which they're they're being sprayed  and it's not just one point and so we   plan to scoop a relatively wide area of the  order of ten kilometers in size or even more   and then. Search for these tiny droplets.  It's not an easy task but it was done before. John Michael Godier I it was definitely done before because the   meteoritticist hhnineinger would actually drive  around with a a truck back in the the 40 s around   the canyon diablo crater the meteor crater in  Arizona the very famous huge 1 and pick up this.   Iron rain that would come from the the object that  that hit and you would actually get these these   tiny droplets with a magnet. So there's  this has legs because you're just doing  

it in the ocean and you know if  it's iron. It'll pick it up. But. Avi Loeb Um, right? yeah. John Michael Godier What happens if a don't pick anything   up and you know you're in the right area. Um, and  you have to look for a you know something that   won't attract to a magnet. You know, big piece of  Tungsten or something weird. It seems to me that   that would be if it was an artificial object. That  it wouldn't be attracted to a magnet right? and. Avi Loeb Well, we will use a   camera as well to survey the floor and see what's  there so we will not rely just on the magnet.  

So yeah, we are working right now on the  details and I must say that. Ah, you know   deciding about the equipment is 1 thing  um deciding about the timing is a second   and the third is the funding and I'm  very optimistic on on all fronts.   As of now I cannot. Give you all the  details because they're not finalized, but   there is excitement and ah to me you know,  even though I often get seasick on a ship   I would never give up the opportunity to  actually witness ah and put my hands on. Um, the   the material that came from a big object that  came from outside the solar system because   think about it to visit another star. Even the  nearest star proxima centauri if we were to use   chemical rockets. It would take us 50000 years  roughly the time that elapsed. Since the first  

humans left Africa okay, and you just think about  the journey. It's really it takes a huge amount of   time to go places. So if it takes so much time to  go to your neighbor's yard then you better, check   your own yard for material that came from your  neighbor. Which is pretty much what we are doing.

John Michael Godier And just the isotope data alone of being able   to get a group of samples from elsewhere in the  galaxy and look at the isotope data would tell us   all sorts of things about protoplanetary discs and  everything else. So Just just the natural aspect.   Of looking at material of Interstellar  origin is just astonishing the the geology. Avi Loeb Yeah, to connect it to   we can connect it to what we were discussing  before because if for example, the point of   origin was closed to a neutron star merger. You  know you will find a lot of gold on this thing. Ah   so um. Even if you imagine natural object the  abundances of heavy elements may not be the   same as in the solar system and especially our  processed elements created for example by the   collision of 2 neutron stars could be different  because it all depends on the distance to the   nearest such collision and. We don't know what  the birthplace was of this object. So in general,  

you know we tend to think that you know we live  in our home and we see things around us and we   see the members of our family. These are the  rocks that we have found in the solar system and   we tend to think all families are alike. And  therefore by by looking at our family members. We   pretty much understand how other people behave and  how you know how they look and so forth. But guess  

what if you were to go to the street you will see  people that are very different than your family   members. Okay. Um, and so my lesson from that is  you know it's different to explore the real world   compared to your virtual reality of the imaginary  world where you imagine that you've seen   everything already and of course it could also  be a shock because you know. My daughters when   they were young. They stayed at home and they  thought that they're the smartest in the world   and of course that was consistent because they  with the data that they received because they   compared themselves to the family members and they  were the smartest but then when they went to the   kindergarten suddenly they saw kids that might be  smarter than they are and. I think we might face   a similar shock The first time we find an object  from an exoterrestrial civilization. You know we   think of you know, just think about finding iphone  30 ah you know in so embedded in in a meteor.

John Michael Godier Now if we were to find such an artifact   within our star system with us for our atmosphere  with us wouldn't that statistically speaking   suggest that. The universe is absolutely loaded  to the hilt with Alien Civilizations and. Avi Loeb Well, it wouldn't necessarily say   that there are lots of civilizations. It could say  that there is one that was very prolific right? So   think about ah you know humans? Okay, so it's  possible that. Much of our Dna was contributed   by a female and a male that had a lot of kids.  You know there could have been a lot of other   females and males that didn't mate as much. Ah and  as a result you know we're dominated by those very   prolific ones. Um, so in much the same way if you  had 1 civilization that was extremely ambitious.  

They didn't have just 1 Elon Musk  planning to go to Mars but they had   a million ah scientists and engineers that  really wanted to go places not just to the next   planet but actually very far away. If they  were very ambitious. They could have produced   self-replicating probes that would go places  and reproduce and then they would dominate the   milky way galaxy but it's only one such  ambitious species. You don't need many. John Michael Godier Now coming to earth people often make the argument   that well they wouldn't be interested in us and  I've always disagreed with this argument because   you know people will say well what interest do  we have in an antil. Well we have specialists   in Antils. On earth we have scientists  that spend their careers studying ants   so it would seem to me that the reason that  they would come here to observe us is clear   where another occurrence of life and they want  to collect data on us. Do you think that the the   motivation. Of an alien civilization to come  here would simply be science and studying us.

Avi Loeb Yeah, well,   you know what they had in mind when they created  this equipment that might visit us is 1 matter but   you can ask another question you know and I don't  know what they had in mind and I don't you know I   I'm completely agnostic about that. Because it's  very difficult to guess the intentions. You know   what people have in mind when you try to deal  with people. It's really difficult to trust   the intentions of people so and people are things  that we know about they just imagine another.  

Culture and other civilization. It's really  difficult to forecast what they have in mind. So   I don't want because the number of possibilities  is so vast that I don't want to bet on one of them   but another related question is  you know? Ah, what should we be   proud of ourself. Um. You know because very often  we tell ourselves. Oh yeah, we are the pinnacle of   creation. You know that we are so smart we produce  technology science and so forth and I think this   is very misguided and because um, you know, ah.  We are doing terrible things. You know we're going  

to wars. We're destroying the planet. We are not  necessarily the most intelligent you can imagine   you know and so um, you know in the dating  app of the galaxy the interstellar dating app   if we were to put our images. We wouldn't be  the most popular civilization I wouldn't think   I would like to date humans. Okay I would much  I can imagine much more attractive dates. Okay,   that are interested in knowledge that are  not fighting each other because of their ego.  

You know I can imagine things like that and by  the way we are producing them. They are called Ai   systems and I think eventually if ai  systems take take control of the way   science is done. We would be better off because  they might not have an attachment to their ego   if they see something that looks. Weird in the  sky they would not behave like experts that worked   on rocks their entire lives. They would not say  everything in the sky must be a rock you know or   a natural thing. They would be open minded. They  would say oh look this is really unusual. This  

doesn't look like a rock. What is it and. These  are you know these ai astronauts that are not   Ai yeah scientists that are not that attached to  their ego might operate much better. They would   gain knowledge better than humans do so  altogether you know I'm not entirely proud   of what we are doing and I think  there is room for improvement and.

Avi Loeb That that would be   my message that let's let's be better. Okay,  and another example is you know we sent out   new horizons this mission that went to pluto and  is now exiting the solar system and we put the   box with the ashes of clyumbo the scientists  who discovered ah Pluto. On that mission and   you know if that spacecraft collides with  in a billionaires collides with an exoplanet   like the earth and becomes a meteor and lands  on the bottom of the ocean on that exoplanet.   And you have astronomers there that say oh wow,  let's check this out and they scoop the ocean   floor and they find this box with the ashes of  clyumbao and then they say to themselves. Oh   this seems to be some burned up material  relic of of a human what they realized   there must be a human but. It makes very little  sense because those humans wanted to commemorate   someone and they destroyed all the genetic  information about that someone by burning up   the Dna of that person and putting it in a box to  commemorate that person that makes little sense.  

We don't want to have anything to do with these  humans. They would tell themselves because.   They seem to be quite aggressive why burn up  the information about a person that you want   to commemorate that makes 0 sense and then send  it to space. You know that's what we've done and   that was done by by our most sophisticated science  agency Nasa that sent the the equipment. So again  

I'm not very proud. And you know, many many people  think about sending images of humans to space   sending music to space all kinds of things  that we feel proud of you know I would be much   more modest you know I would like to learn more  about others or than a. Ah, show off about us. John Michael Godier I I have to I have to admit being   a science fiction author I was just compelled  to start thinking about the idea of millions of   clyde tumball clones attacking earth all wearing  bolo ties. Um, now I have a listener question. Avi Loeb But by the way I   should just tell you that I raised this point  about clytumba with the principal investigator   of the new horizon's mission who is  a member of the gallillo project.  

His name is Alan Stern and I said why  didn't you try to send a stem cell. John Michael Godier Um. Avi Loeb Or an electronic you know, ah   version of the Dna of cly tambo and he said  it would have been a bureaucratic nightmare   at Nasa much easier to send the ashes. John Michael Godier I and I'm I'm in cly tombboud   died years Ago. So I'm sure he was cremated long  ago now and a listener question. Um, in regards to   the future of Humanity. Do You think that a great  filter lies Ahead. Or do you think we're past it. Avi Loeb  Well, that's a very good question  and you know it really depends on   how intelligently we behave. Okay, so we  have control of our future in principle. Um,  

and you know the different types of futures that  you can imagine. There is a future that. Where we   just and like thelma and louise you know we drive  off the cliff because we've never witnessed our   demise. Okay, we've never witnessed a situation  where we destroy the conditions on on earth such   that we won't be able to survive. We've never  witnessed that and therefore we drive the car  

off the cliff assuming nothing bad will happen.  We keep arguing with each other about politics   while the car is flying up into the you know  over the cliff and then we fall down so that's   one future where we keep. Relying on the past  but in the past we never had the ability to and   basically inflict wounds that would kill us and  now we have those abilities so we cannot learn   from experience. We have to be intelligent enough  to figure out the consequences of our actions.   And we may not be that intelligent. We may go into  wars with each other. We may argue politically you   know without noticing that we are you know heading  in you know in the direction of that cliff.   The other possibility is that once  we get close to a catastrophe.  

We would really get serious about it. We'd say  okay, forget about the the rivalries between   nations. Forget about showing off that  you know one person is smarter than the   other one person is more powerful than the other  forget about this because all of us will die.   There is a global threat here. Let's work  together and I should say you know the virus  

covid nineteen was not a good ah indication  because even when it was global. There was no,   there wasn't full cooperation between all nations  on earth and you can see the consequences of that   you know. Um, so you know now there is lockdown  in Shanghai in China but if they were to realize   the consequences for them as a result of their  citizens living the country living Wuhan and   going to milan in italy early on in the pandemic.  They wouldn't. Have allowed that and they would   have cooperated given all the information they  have to the international communities such that   scientists will be able to cope with a threat.  Okay, but there wasn't cooperation early on  

and as a result it comes to haunt us as as a  civilization because it's a global threat. But. Avi Loeb Of course   the virus. You know it kills a fraction of the  population. But most of us survive and so it's not   an extinction event but the the lesson  from that is you know that we should   cooperate on matters that are global and if  we are intelligent enough. We will do that   you know. The dinosaurs sixty six million years  ago they were very proud of themselves they ate  

grass until a huge rock the size of Manhattan  Island hit the ground and tarnished their ego tree   now we are smarter than that we build telescopes  we can alert. Everyone that there is a giant rock   heading towards earth and do something about it.  So that's an example where science can help us   prevent. We can deflect this rock prevent a  catastrophe but we should do it on all fronts.   Not just regarding rocks heading our way and  if we are intelligent enough. We might do that.

John Michael Godier 1 ho

2022-05-21 22:32

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