Breakthrough Listen: Expanding the Search for Life Beyond Earth
with Dr. Steve Croft
Saturday June 18, 2016 at 11:00 AM
159 Mulford Hall, UC Berkeley
For millennia humans have gazed at the stars and asked, “Are we alone in the Universe?”. In the past few decades, we have discovered that many of the pinpoints of light scattered across our night sky are suns that host worlds similar to our own. Still, though, the question remains unanswered as to whether minds have arisen elsewhere, or if life as we know it is rare, or indeed unique. Dr. Croft will describe some of the work taking place at UC Berkeley that attempts to answer this question. These efforts include one of the largest computing projects in existence, as well as the recently-launched $100 million Breakthrough Listen project that dramatically expands the search, and applies modern Silicon Valley techniques to the data analysis. Dr. Croft will also describe how the public can participate in this expansion of the search for life beyond Earth.
Dr. Steve Croft is a researcher in the UC Berkeley Astronomy Department. He grew up in England, where he received a PhD in astrophysics from Oxford University in 2002, before moving to California to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Since 2007, Croft has been a researcher in the Astronomy Department at UC Berkeley. He splits his time between studies of supermassive black holes and exotic transient events using the Murchison Widefield Array in the remote Western Australian outback, and research and public outreach with Berkeley SETI Research Center and the Breakthrough Listen project. Dr. Croft has a deep commitment to public communication of science, including through projects such as NOVAS, that connected underrepresented students to NASA science through art and visualization, and as the founder and coordinator of the Science@Cal Lecture Series. This free public talk is presented as part of the monthly Science at Cal Lecture Series. Event Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org