Prof Avi Loeb on what 'Oumuamua tells us about the problem with modern physics
In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast, astrophysicist Prof Avi Loeb explains why he thinks 'Oumuamua was of alien origin.
In 2017, the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii spotted an interstellar object passing by Earth for the first time. Shortly after, Harvard’s Prof Avi Loeb was met with a backlash from the scientific community for suggesting it could be of alien origin.
Now, several years on, he has written a book, Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, outlining why we still can’t out rule the possibility, and why scientists should always keep an open mind.
We speak to Avi on this week's episode of the Science Focus Podcast. He tells us why he believes the object, 'Oumuamua, was of alien origin, and what problems this reveals about the way modern physics is conducted.
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Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast:
- Dr Douglas Vakoch: Should we try to contact aliens?
- Bergur Finnbogason: Project Discovery and its search for exoplanets
- Dr Erin Macdonald: Is there science in Star Trek?
- What if the Earth’s magnetic field died? – Jim Al-Khalili
- Building a base on the Moon, and crafting believable sci-fi – Andy Weir
- Dr Becky Smethurst: How do you actually find a black hole?
Jason is the commissioning editor for BBC Science Focus. He holds an MSc in physics and was named Section Editor of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors in 2019. He has been reporting on science and technology for more than a decade. During this time, he's walked the tunnels of the Large Hadron Collider, watched Stephen Hawking deliver his Reith Lecture on Black Holes and reported on everything from simulation universes to dancing cockatoos. He looks after the magazine’s and website’s news sections and makes regular appearances on the Instant Genius Podcast.