Category Archives: Speculation

Video: Webcast of Breakthrough Initiatives conference at Stanford Univ.

The Breakthrough Initiatives is holding a symposium at Stanford today and tomorrow. The theme is “Alien Life” – Diversity in the Universe.

You can watch the presentations via the live webcast:

Here is the schedule:

Day 1 Schedule: Presenters/Panelists

Live on YouTube: youtu.be/nFoTyKGHdLc

Pacific Time USA

09:00 Welcome to Breakthrough Discuss 2018: Hosts Charles Alcock, Penelope Boston, Jamie Drew, Peter Michelson, S. Pete Worden
09:15 Keynote: Carolyn Porco, “Enceladus: Little Moon, Big Possibilities”
10:00 Session One: Search for Life in our Solar System: Chairs Penelope Boston, Chris McKay
10:10 David Smith, “Why Aren’t Clouds Green?”
10:30 David Grinspoon, “The Case for Venus: Life in Acid Clouds?”
10:50 Britney Schmidt, “Robots Under the Ice, and One Day, In Space?”
11:25 Alfonso Davila, “Search for Life Beyond Earth: Motive, Means and Opportunity”
11:45 Morgan Cable, “Dragonfly: In situ exploration of Titan’s prebiotic organic chemistry and habitability”
12:05 Penelope Boston, “Wherever You Go, There You Are: The Questions That Drive the Destinations”
13:40 Panel One: Search for Life in our Solar Systems: Chairs Penelope Boston, Chris McKay, Panelists Dale Anderson, Steven Benner, Nathalie Cabrol, Cynthia Philips, Carol Stoker
15:10 Session Two: Possibilities for Non-Terran Life in the Universe: Chairs Svetlana Berdyugina, Lisa Kaltenegger
15:20 Lynn Rothschild, “Universal Biology: Investigating Life as it Must Be”
15:40 Steve Benner, “Chemical Constraints on Non-Earth Life”
16:00 Sara Seager, “A New View of Life’s Journey Through Chemical Space”
16:30 Charles Ofria, “Using Artificial Life to Uncover Universal Evolutionary Dynamics”
16:50 Emilio Enriquez, “Searching for lifeform-independent technosignatures
17:10 Lee Cronin, “The Evolution of Inorganic Life in the Universe

Day 2 Schedule: Presenters/Panelists

Live on YouTube: youtu.be/3GiN-tWAV_k

Pacific Time USA

09:00 Welcome Remarks, S. Pete Worden
09:10 Keynote: Martin Rees, “Will SETI Detect Organic or Electronic Intelligence?”
10:05 Panel Two: Possibilities for Non-Terran Life in the Universe:
Chairs Svetlana Berdyugina, Lisa Kaltenegger, Panelists Penelope Boston, Chris McKay, Anders Sandberg , Clara Sousa-Silva, Sara Walker
12:30 Session Three: Progress in Novel Space Propulsion: Chairs Sigrid Close, Zachary Manchester
12:40 Sonny White, “Pilot Wave Model for Impulsive Thrust from RF Test Device”
13:00 Ryan Weed, “Scaled Radioisotope Positron Propulsion for Interstellar Spacecraft”
13:20 Geoffrey Landis, “Sails: From the Solar System to the Stars”
13:50 Robert Zubrin, “Dipole Drive for Space Propulsion”
14:10 Kevin Parkin “Progress in Beamed Energy Propulsion”
14:30 Les Johnson, “Solar and Electric Sailing: Stepping Stones to the Stars”
15:00 Panel Three: Progress in Novel Space Propulsion:
Chairs Sigrid Close, Zachary Manchester, Panelists Elena Ancona, Harry Atwater, Heidi Fearn, Mateusz Józefowicz, Kelvin Long

====

Videos: 2017 Advanced Propulsion Workshop

The Space Studies Institute (SSI) recently posted videos of talks given at a workshop last fall co-hosted by The Aerospace Corp on topics related to exotic propulsion concepts and experiments such as those involved with the Mach Effect and EM Drive:

Here is a sampling:

** Marc Millis, Founder of The Tau Zero Foundation, former head of NASA’s visionary Breakthrough Propulsion Physics project, presents “Playful Thought Experiments About Breakthrough Spacedrives

** Heidi Fearn, Professor of Physics at The California State University Fullerton, Space Studies Institute NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Team Principle Investigator and SSI Senior Associate presents “The Mach Effect Gravitational Assist Drive

** Raymond Chaio, Professor Emeritus at The University of California, Merced, Co-Author of “Quantum Optics“, Editor of “Amazing Light: A Volume Dedicated To Charles Hard Townes On His 80th Birthday” and Co-Editor of “Visions of Discovery: New Light on Physics, Cosmology, and Consciousness” – “The Dynamical Casimir Effect and the Possibility of Laser-Like Generation of Gravitational Radiation.”

** John G. Cramer – Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Washington, Author of “The Quantum Handshake: Entanglement, Nonlocality and  Transactions” and the Science Fiction novels “Twistor” and  “Einstein’s Bridge” – “The Quantum Handshake Explored”

Update: Saw this video this evening. Fun to watch Jansson’s enthusiasm and openness about an usual experimental phenomena they have seen repeatedly. I expect, though, they will turn out to be an instrumentation error of some sort.

** Dr. Peter M. Jansson – Associate Professor of Engineering at Bucknell University, President of Integrated Systems – “An Empirical Pursuit of Mach’s Principle: Experimental Results Indicating a ‘Machian’ Inertial Reaction Force is Detectable and Electromagnetic.”

====

Video: Science Fiction/Future Now panel at Comic-Con

Here is a video for the Science Fiction/Future Now panel at Comic-Con:

Science fiction has ever been the muse of real-world advances, but now ideas can be achieved almost as soon as they are thought up. So how do writers, out-dream the dream makers? How do writers handle the truth of real science and the fiction that is needed for writing their stories? Is it a crisis for the writer’s imagination? Or does it serve to inspire?

The panelists include:

Videos: “From Here to the Stars” interview series by the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop

The Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop  (TVIW) recently initiated a Youtube video series titled, From Here to the Stars, that consists of interviews with scientists and leading thinkers in the area of interstellar travel. Here are the first four entries in the series:

In Episode 1, Stephen Euin Cobb, Host of “Future and You” podcast, interviews Marc G. Millis, Founder and Director of Tau Zero Foundation, in association with Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (Les Johnson, Executive Producer).

In Episode 2, Stephen Euin Cobb, Host of “Future and You” podcast, interviews Dr. Louis D. Friedman, Co-Founder of The Planetary Society with Carl Sagan and Bruce C. Murray and Planetary Society Executive Director Emeritus, in association with Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (Les Johnson, Executive Producer).

In Episode 3, Stephen Euin Cobb, Host of “Future and You” podcast, interviews Dr. Philip Lubin, a professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a co-recipient of the 2006 Gruber Prize in Cosmology along with the COBE science team for their groundbreaking work in cosmology. This series is produced in association with Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (Les Johnson, Executive Producer).

See the see DEEP-IN webpage for more about the work of Lubin’s group at UCSB on “Directed Energy Interstellar Precursors”.

In Episode 4, Stephen Euin Cobb, Host of “Future and You” podcast, interviews Dr. Gregory L. Matloff, Emeritus Associate and Adjunct Associate Professor of Physics at New York City College of Technology (NYCCT), Fellow of the British interplanetary Society, and Hayden Associate at the American Museum of Natural History. This series is produced in association with Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (Les Johnson, Executive Producer).

Videos: Talks given at NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Fall Symposium

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) office funds studies into all sorts of leading and beyond leading edge ideas for space development. This past week NIAC held its fall symposium in Seattle, Washington –

Many interesting talks were given and you can see them in the archive at 2015 NIAC Fall Symposium on Livestream.

Some examples:

* Keynote Address Greg Bear, Science Fiction Author

* Four talks by:

  • William Engblom, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Virtual Flight Demonstration of Stratospheric Dual-Aircraft Platform
  • John Graf, NASA JSC, Thirsty Walls – A new paradigm for air revitalization in life support
  • Michael Hecht, MIT Haystack Observatory, A Tall Ship and a Star to Steer Her By
  • John Lewis, Deep Space Industries, In-Space Manufacture of Storable Propellants

*  Four talks by:

  • Larry Paxton, Johns Hopkins University, CRICKET: Cryogenic Reservoir Inventory by Cost-Effective Kinetically Enhanced Technology
  • Joel Sercel, ICS Assoc., APIS (Asteroid Provided In-Situ Supplies):100MT Of Water from a Single Falcon 9
  • Adrian Stoica, NASA JPL, WindBots: persistent in-situ science explorers for gas giants
  • Nelson Tabirian, BEAM Engineering for Advanced Measurements Co., Thin-Film Broadband Large Area Imaging System

* Three talks by:

  • Melville Ulmer, Northwestern University, Aperture: A Precise Extremely large Reflective Telescope Using Re-configurable Elements
  • Joseph Wang, Univ. Southern California, CubeSat with Nanostructured Sensing Instrumentation for Planetary Exploration
  • Marco Pavone, Stanford University, Spacecraft/Rover Hybrids for the Exploration of Small Solar System Bodies