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Tag: Adam Frank

Book shines a light on co-evolution of planets and civilizations

Book shines a light on co-evolution of planets and civilizations

June 12, 2018

As a self-described “evangelist of science,” Rochester astrophysicist Adam Frank is committed to showing others the beauty and power of science. In his new book, Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth, Frank poses big questions about alien civilizations, climate change, and what life on other worlds tells us about our own fate.

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Alien apocalypse: Can any civilization make it through climate change?

Alien apocalypse: Can any civilization make it through climate change?

June 4, 2018

Does the universe contain planets with truly sustainable civilizations? Or does every civilization that may have arisen in the cosmos last only a few centuries before it falls to the climate change it triggers? Rochester astrophysicist Adam Frank and his collaborators have developed a mathematical model to illustrate how a technologically advanced population and its planet might develop together, putting climate change in a cosmic context.

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We think we’re the first advanced earthlings—but how do we really know?

We think we’re the first advanced earthlings—but how do we really know?

April 16, 2018

Imagine if, many millions of years ago, dinosaurs drove cars through cities of mile-high buildings. A preposterous idea, right? In a compelling thought experiment, professor of physics and astronomy Adam Frank and director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Gavin Schmidt wonder how we would truly know if there were a past civilization so advanced that it left little or no trace of its impact on the planet.

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Climate change for aliens

Climate change for aliens

September 7, 2017

For more than 50 years, the Kardashev scale has been the gold standard for classifying hypothetical “exo-civilizations” by their ability to harness energy. A team of researchers led by Rochester astrophysicist Adam Frank have devised a new system that takes into account the impacts of that energy use.

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NASA’s historic, crucial role in earth science

NASA’s historic, crucial role in earth science

December 2, 2016

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Professor Adam Frank makes the case for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s role in earth-centric science. “Without NASA, climate research worldwide would be hobbled,” he writes.

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Astrophysicist meets Marvel movie as <em>Doctor Strange</em> science consultant

Astrophysicist meets Marvel movie as Doctor Strange science consultant

November 2, 2016

The makers of the latest Marvel blockbuster, Doctor Strange, wanted the fantasy film to have scientific substance. For help, they turned to astrophysicist Adam Frank, who was a science consultant on the film.

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Short answers to big questions: Exploring atoms in space

Short answers to big questions: Exploring atoms in space

August 11, 2016

University of Rochester astrophysicist Adam Frank helps NPR listeners answer: If there are points in space with only three atoms per cubic meter, what fills in the rest? / All Things Considered

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Making the case for life on other planets

Making the case for life on other planets

June 15, 2016

How can we calculate the likelihood of technological civilizations having existed on other planets? That’s a question Adam Frank, professor of astronomy, considers in an essay, “Yes, There Have Been Aliens,” published in the New York Times.

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What makes America (and civilization) great

What makes America (and civilization) great

June 7, 2016

Astronomy professor Adam Frank traces the “line from [Ellis] Chesbrough’s audacious plan to make Chicago a clean, functioning city 150 years ago and the invisible infrastructures hiding behind your cell phone” today. / NPR.org

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Are we alone? Setting some limits to our uniqueness

Are we alone? Setting some limits to our uniqueness

April 27, 2016

Are humans unique and alone in the vast universe? This question– summed up in the famous Drake equation–has for a half-century been one of the most intractable and uncertain in science. But a new paper shows that the recent discoveries of exoplanets combined with a broader approach to the question makes it possible to assign a new empirically valid probability to whether any other advanced technological civilizations have ever existed.

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