Universiteit Leiden

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Can we make the great leap to the stars?

Wednesday 4 July 2018
Kamerlingh Onnes Gebouw
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden

Starships ‘Distinguished Lecture’

Circling one star among hundreds of billions, in one galaxy among a hundred billion more, in a Universe that is vast and expanding ever faster – perhaps toward infinity. In the granular details of daily life, it’s easy to forget that we live in a place of astonishing grandeur and mystery.

The Breakthrough Initiatives 

are a program of scientific and technological exploration, probing the big questions of life in the Universe: Are we alone? Are there habitable worlds in our galactic neighborhood? Can we make the great leap to the stars? And can we think and act together – as one world in the cosmos?
On April 20, 2016, ‘Breakthrough Starshot’ was announced - an interstellar program to Alpha Centauri. These are the first of several privately funded global initiatives to answer the fundamental science questions surrounding the origin, extent, and nature of life in the universe. In this lecture Dr. Worden will tell us about the history of the Starshot project, the breakthrough technology that is being developed for this endeavor and the status of this historic mission to Alpha Centauri.

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