字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 The mystery of are there aliens? Are we alone? This is one of those fundamental mysteries that I think is going to bother us until we have systematically explored every planet in our solar system and every world beyond and either found that life or ruled it out. Because we want to know; are we alone? It was Fermi who first put it bluntly: Why in a universe so full of stars we didn't see, well, evidence that aliens had colonized the solar systems as readily as humanity has colonized every square scrap of land on this planet? And the fact that we don't see life and we're finding now, planet, after planet, after planet, raises the terrifying possibility that either life is extraordinarily rare or really good at killing itself off. How would the discovery of intelligent life change the way we view our position in the universe? We see, in movie, after movie, after movie, this transcendent moment where people have this, the universe is so much greater than we are realization. That of course, is the grand gesture way. Because in all likelihood, when we do first detect intelligent life it's going to be something so far away we can't communicate with it, we can't go visit it, that people are like, 'meh, that's good,' and then they're just gonna move on with their day. Already people see the discovery of another planet as just another day. What are the current, the most exciting efforts going on right now in terms of hunting for any kind of extraterrestrial life? There are teams, recently a group in Japan did models looking at what has our planet looked like in each of its phases of evolution. When the JWST finally is able to launch some day, it may be able to look at alien atmospheres and say, there be things that are like trees. And this world, it looks like it has a bunch of people that pollute the same way we do. This may be the first way we discover intelligence, is through the pollution they leave in their atmosphere. Well, simultaneous to all this, of course, has been China's rise as a superpower. has been China's rise as a superpower. How has that affected the world's How has that affected the world's search for extraterrestrial life? They are systematically building space stations and looking forward to going to the Moon. While on the ground they're building great new telescopes, including the single largest radio dish in the world. This is a facility that takes the idea of the Arecibo radio dish that we've seen in so many movies, whether it be Contact or James Bond, this giant dish in the mountains in Puerto Rico. They took that idea and scaled it up to truly magnificent sizes. And with this massive dish, what they've gained is the ability to listen in on even fainter signals. If it's the search for radio signals though, China is so far out in the lead with that big dish they've built, I don't think any of us can catch up right now. Would it be sensible for maybe the two nations to be working together, or are we likely to see a two-horse race not a million miles away perhaps from the space race a few decades ago? As is true of so much of science, the scientists desperately want to work together. And often there are people figuring out how to find backdoor ways to do work side-by-side that builds towards the same goal. There's currently federally invoked limitations here in the United States where we aren't allowed to share technologies, including a lot of software that we write, with our collaborators in China. These are what are referred to as ITAR regulations. As long as these governmental regulations restricting how funding can be shared, how technology can be shared are in place, we're gonna be forced to work side-by-side but not together. Even more broadly than just the search for extraterrestrial life, but if there's one thing that somebody should immediately go and Google, or look up on Twitter, or search for on a website, what should people know about right now? We're at this really curious time where we may or may not have our fundamental understanding of how our universe is evolving turned over on its head. Back in 1998, there were discoveries made that seemed to indicate that our universe is accelerating apart thanks to this entirely new thing that we don't know how to describe that we have labeled dark energy. And this piece of research, done by multiple teams, was based on the single concept that exploding white dwarf stars, the leftover cores of dead stars like our sun, when you put enough mass on them, they all explode the exact same way, having more or less the exact same amount of light being given off, allowing us to use them to measure distances throughout our universe. Well, we're now getting more and more hints that maybe that's single underlying premise wasn't true, and that maybe this revolution we had in '98 that said no, our universe is expanding apart, might get taken back. And there's new work hinting that, even without that idea that we don't understand how our universe is expanding, it gets worse. Because there are hints that maybe different parts of our universe are expanding at different rates. We don't know who is right and who is wrong in this current debate over fundamental questions about how our universe evolves, but I'm betting that we're gonna settle these questions in the next five years and it could be even in the next five months if we get lucky and the right people get the right telescope time.