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Combing the Universe for radio signals might not be the only way to search for alien civilisations, according to a team of student researchers from UC Santa Barbara.

The army of students, under the leadership of experimental cosmologist and professor of physics at UCSB Philip Lubin, are using photonics to search for extraterrestrials instead in the Trillion Planet Survey.

For the last 50 years, the dominant broadcast signals from Earth were radio, TV and radar so naturally, researchers like those at SETI, have been using powerful radio telescopes to look for similar signals out in the Universe. But as photonic technology accelerates, scientists are realising that aliens could just as easily be found through optical and infrared wavelengths.

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