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The duo calculated that a solar-powered transmitter could indeed beam FRB-like signals across the cosmos — but it would require a sunlight-collecting area twice the size of Earth to generate the necessary power.
Why would aliens build such a structure? The most plausible explanation, according to the study team, is to blast interstellar spacecraft to incredible speeds. These craft would be equipped with light sails, which harness the momentum imparted by photons, much as regular ships' sails harness the wind.
"With light beams, light sails and the lightest spacecraft ever built, we can launch a mission to Alpha Centauri within a generation,"
The Starshot spacecraft will consist of a wafer-size chip attached to a super-thin sail. This paired duo will be launched to space aboard a mothership, and then propelled to the stars by laser light beamed from a high-altitude facility here on Earth.
Our analysis shows that beams used for powering large light sails could yield parameters that are consistent with FRBs.
Moreover, the optimal frequency for powering the light sail is shown to be similar to the detected FRB frequencies.
Assuming that ET is responsible for most FRBs, and taking into account the estimated number of potentially habitable planets in the Milky Way (about 10 billion), Lingam and Loeb calculated an upper limit for the number of advanced alien civilizations in a galaxy like our own: 10,000.
Nothing was mentioned about intergalactic travel. The concept is quite valid for interstellar travel. With lasers. Never read The Mote In God's Eye?
I would think that traveling lightyears from distant galaxies would require something more sophisticated than radio wind in your sails.
FRB stands for "fast radio burst." These flickers of light were just discovered in 2007, and although they last for just a fraction of a second, they release more energy than our entire sun will radiate in 10,000 years. Eighteen FRBs have been detected, but scientists estimate that one of these bursts occurs somewhere in the sky about once every 10 seconds.
originally posted by: Phage
For efficacy, lightsail technology would involve laser light. Are FRBs coherent light? Seems someone would have noticed.