Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Aliens: The World's Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

by Jim Al-Khalili (Editor)


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250109637
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 05/09/2017
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 500,255
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

JIM AL-KHALILI is a quantum physicist, author, and broadcaster based at the University of Surrey in England. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics in 1989 and has published more than a hundred research papers on the subject. He is a well-known presenter of TV and radio in Britain, and his many popular science books have been translated into twenty-six languages. He is a recipient of the Royal Society of London’s Michael Faraday Prize and the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal. In 2016 he received the inaugural Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication. He lives in Southsea in Hampshire with his wife, Julie.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Where Is Everybody? by Jim Al-Khalili — 1

1 Aliens and Us: Could Post-humans Spread through the Galaxy? by Martin Rees — 11


2 (Un)welcome Visitors: Why Aliens Might Visit Us by Lewis Dartnell — 25

3 Flying Saucers: A Brief History of Sightings and Conspiracies by Dallas Campbell — 35

4 Aliens on Earth: What Octopus Minds Can Tell Us about Alien Consciousness by Anil Seth — 47

5 Abducted: The Psychology of Close Encounters with Extraterrestrials by Chris French — 58


6 Home Sweet Home: What Makes a Planet Habitable? by Chris McKay —73

7 The Next-Door Neighbours: The Search for Life on Mars by Monica Grady — 83

8 Further Out: Could the Moons of the Gas Giants Harbour Life? by Louisa Preston — 93

9 Monsters, Victims, Friends: Aliens in Science Fiction Writing by Ian Stewart — 103


10 Randomness Versus Complexity: The Chemistry of Life by Andrea Sella — 117

11 Electric Origins in Deep-Sea Vents: How Life got Started on Earth by Nick Lane — 127

12 Quantum Leap: Could Quantum Mechanics Hold the Secret of (Alien) Life? by Johnjoe McFadden —137

13 A Cosmic Imperative: How Easy Is It for Life to Get Started? by Paul C. W. Davies — 147

14 Alone in the Universe: The Improbability of Alien Civilisations by Matthew Cobb — 156


15 It Came from Beyond the Silver Screen! Aliens in the Movies by Adam Rutherford — 169

16 What Are We Looking For? An Overview of the Search for Extraterrestrials by Nathalie Cabrol — 178

17 Are They Out There? Technology, the Drake Equation, and Looking for Life on Other Worlds by Sara Seager — 188

18 Good Atmosphere: Identifying the Signs of Life on Distant Worlds by Giovanna Tinetti — 197

19 What Next? The Future of the SEarch for Extraterrestrial Intelligence by Seth Shostak — 208

Further Reading — 221

Contributors — 226

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