First Steps to Interstellar Probes- i4is Project Glowworm

Joint BIS/HS lecture – First Steps to Interstellar Probes- i4is Project Glowworm

Friday 2 October 2020

BRLSI Zoom Lecture 7.30 pm

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Ticket proceeds to support the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution.


About the Speaker: John I Davies, senior researcher and editor for the Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is)

John Davies of the Initiative & Institute for Interstellar Studies (i4is) will present this talk on “First Steps to Interstellar Probes – i4is Project Glowworm”. John joined i4is a couple of months after formation in 2012. He coordinates schools and outreach engagement for i4is and edits the i4is quarterly, Principium. John graduated in Electronics from Liverpool University, joining Hawker Siddeley Dynamics Space Projects Division in 1968, working on the Bluestreak launcher and projects including an astronomical telescope study for ESRO and NASA, which became the Hubble. He moved to the University of Edinburgh in 1970 where he developed systems software for early packet switching networks also completing a Masters in Computer Science at Manchester University. He spent most of his career in systems software development for communications and technical consultancy in mobile data, retiring in 2008.

Lecture Description:
John will explain i4is Project Glowworm – a near term low earth orbit demonstration of laser push technology. This is a first step to interstellar probes using that technology. John will explain the motivation for this project, set out the history of, and physical basis for, laser propulsion, summarise the alternative means of interstellar propulsion, outline the planning for the probe and mention some other i4is work including Project Lyra, planning probes to reach interstellar objects such as 1I/’Oumuamua. This talk will be at a “serious science journalism” level but will be open to more detailed questions on the day and ongoing discussion.


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