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Universe, Energy & SETI

Date: 11-30-07
Host: Art Bell
Guests: Michio Kaku

Theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku joined Art Bell for a discussion on a variety of topics, including dark matter, alternative energy, and the SETI program.

Kaku described the universe as "overwhelmingly dark," noting that dark matter makes up about 73% of the total matter/energy content of the universe and is increasing. As this "runaway mode" continues, the stars will move farther apart until Earth's night sky appears completely dark. Trillions of years from now, Kaku speculated, we will likely freeze to death here unless we can travel to a younger parallel universe.

Kaku commented on the automobile industry, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell cars, as well as alternative energy sources. He believes a hydrogen economy will be viable when the rising price of oil meets with the falling price of solar/hydrogen power. Kaku also discussed global warming doomsday scenarios, the dangers of nuclear (fission) power plants, and the potential of 'hot' fusion reactors, which he imagines could be operational by 2030.

Regarding SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), Kaku expressed excitement over the new Allen Telescope Array, built in part by money donated by billionaire Paul Allen. The planned 350-dish array will increase search scans by a factor of 1000, he explained. Kaku also talked about the implications of receiving an alien transmission, as well as the potential dangers of alerting an advanced extraterrestrial race of our existence.

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