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Using Light's Handedness To Find Alien Life

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posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 07:03 AM
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Using Light's Handedness To Find Alien Life


science.slashdot.org

"Scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have come up with a novel, easy way to detect life on other planets. Rather than try to measure the composition of atmospheres, they want to look at the chirality of light coming from the planet. From the article: '"If the [planet's] surface had just a collection of random chiral molecules, half would go left, half right," Germer says. "But life's self-assembly means they all would go one way. It's hard to imagine a planet's surface exhibiting handedness without the presence of self assembly, which is an essential component of life."' And they have already built a working model: 'Because chiral molecules reflect light in a way that indicates their handedness, the research team built a device to shine light on plant leaves and bacteria, and then detect the polarized reflections from the organisms' chlorophyll from a short distance away. The device detected chirality from both sources.'"
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.eurekalert.org
dx.doi.org

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
www.abovetopsecret.com...

[edit on 25-4-2009 by Xtraeme]




posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 07:03 AM
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The NIST abstract is available online here and one of the original sources discussing the concept is available at this link.

CBC's science program Quirks and Quarks had an interesting story about the handedness of molecules that it played last month. It provides a reasonably gentle introduction (mp3) to the topic.

science.slashdot.org
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 04:57 PM
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thats some seriously lateral thinking but also a very simple and feasible idea. the best solution is usually the simplest!



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 05:00 PM
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Give it a go! anything is worth trying. And if it works were one step closer to truth! I just hope science can do it this time!



posted on May, 12 2009 @ 04:59 PM
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Originally posted by digdeep
thats some seriously lateral thinking but also a very simple and feasible idea. the best solution is usually the simplest!


It's ashame the NIST team doesn't think this technique will be very effective outside our solar system (I gotta dig up the source, but I remember one of their papers mentioning something to this effect). I hope they're wrong on that point!



posted on May, 12 2009 @ 11:51 PM
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Wow, discovering life by altering the light that it exists in to reveal its presence......What a great idea! N.I.S.T. and all those universities getting behind it.....what prestige. I have been espousing this since December of 2007 here on ATS and for years before I joined. Their projection that this may only work in our Solar System is incorrect. Using images from Hubble of Galaxy 100 million light years away produces the same results as on planet earth. It also produces the same results in rock and soil, and in space itself. I actually got one of my threads locked by Crakeur because of this science. No matter, all is forgiven........but for the sake of Galileo I can't resist an "I told you so." The photograph shows alien life as it exists in my front yard using my version of this principle.



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