Aliens could modify light given off by stars to send hidden messages that would appear like random blinking to others listening in, physicist suggests
- A physicist from Imperial College London suggests aliens could be using stars to send messages to others across space
- Extraterrestrials could alter the light given off the star, which would actually be a message
- However, this altered light would appear like a random blinking to bystanders
If advanced extraterrestrial civilizations exist, they could be using stars to secretly communicate with each other in a way that would appear like random blinking lights to others listening in, a new study suggests.
The notion comes from Imperial College London quantum physicist Terry Rudolph, who theorizes ‘paranoid’ aliens are harnessing the power of entangled photons from various stars to send these hidden messages.
Entangled photons, or quantum entanglement, occur when linked particles of light affect each other no matter how far apart, according to NASA.
This type of communication ‘can be rendered in principle indiscernible to those of us excluded from the conversation,’ which, according to the pre-print paper published in arXiv, is why we have yet to find life beyond our own planet.
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If advanced extraterrestrial civilizations exist in space, they could be using stars to secretly communicate with each other in a way that would appear like random blinking lights to others listening in, a new study suggests
The idea of quantum entanglement is not new, having been dismissed by the late physicist Albert Einstein as ‘spooky action at a distance.’
However, in recent decades, scientists have been investigating this idea and found it is possible – even from Earth to a satellite in space.
Entanglement can occur when a laser beam is shot through a crystal, according to Live Science, resulting in individual photons to split and form pairs of entangled photons that can be separated by large distances.
The separated photons, for example, are Photon A and Photon B.
The notion comes from Imperial College London quantum physicist Terry Rudolph (pictured), who theorizes ‘paranoid’ aliens are harnessing the power of entangled photons from various stars to send these hidden messages
Photon A takes on an up-spin state and Entangled Photon B, though now far away, takes up a state relative to that of Photon A – a down-spin state.
The transfer of state between Photon A and Photon B takes place at a speed of at least 10,000 times the speed of light, which is 186,282 miles per second, regardless of distance.
‘Photons can propagate billions of light-years and retain significant quantum coherence,’ Rudolph wrote in the study.
‘One consequence is therefore that a sufficiently advanced civilization can perform quantum non-demolition measurements of photon number on suitable modes of light being emitted from stars, in such a way that useful large-scale entanglement is distributed by the subsequent free-space propagation of that light through the universe.’
To make these transmitted messages invisible to anyone other than the receive, Rudolph states these aliens could ‘hide their photonic entanglement dispersion by using the thermal light already being emitted by the different starts they visit.’
This would necessitate knowing the number of photons in the modes they have chosen to use , which would also require performing a quantum non-demolition measurement of the photon number.
‘Because the thermal light they are measuring is diagonal in the number basis even this process can be rendered in principle indiscernible to those of us excluded from the conversation,’ Rudolf wrote in the study.
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