Harp is a late-comer to astronomy, having started his career in surface physics and thin film magnetism. He has expertise in semiconductors, magnetic materials, and low dimensional systems. In this part of his carrer, he learned a great deal about quantum mechanics, diffraction and hologrphy, and his thesis topic was on the development of a new kind of electron holograpy to obtain 3D pictures of atoms. Nowadays, making pictures of atoms is relatively easy thanks to the Scanning Tunneling Microscope.
Trained as a quantum mechanic, Harp has been exploiting the possibilities of using the multiple antennas of the SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array (ATA) to generate beams on the sky - beams that could be far smaller than any single antenna could produce. He has undertaken many studies on beam formation, including the Array's ability to produce "negative" beams - useful for cancelling out, or rejecting, signals from such man-made noise makers as telecommunications satellites and the on-site, observatory computers.
The Bruno Award honors the memory of Giordano Bruno, the Italian monk burned at the stake in 1600 for postulating a multitude of inhabited worlds. It is presented annually by the grassroots SETI League, to a person or persons making significant technical contributions to the art and science of SETI. Harp is the nineteenth recipient of the Bruno award since it was established at a 1995 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The statue in front of which this year's presentation was made stands on the site of Bruno's execution more than four centuries ago.
While detection of a signal from an extraterrestrial society is a dramatic prospect, Harp points out that the ATA is pushing the envelope for radio astronomy. It's not just a new instrument for cosmic research; it's revolutionary. Lately, he has turned to the problem of making images with radio data, and he's very interested in "imaging SETI," which can extract thousands of times as much information from radio telescopes as more conventional SETI processing.
Largely using radio telescopes and optical telescopes, SETI scientists seek to determine whether humankind is alone in the universe. Since Congress terminated NASA's SETI funding in 1993, The SETI League and other scientific groups have privatized the research. Amateur and professional scientists interested in participating in the search for intelligent alien life, and citizens wishing to help support it, should email join_at_setileague_dot_org, check the SETI League Web site at http://www.setileague.org/, send a fax to +1 (201) 641-1771, or contact The SETI League, Inc. membership hotline at +1 (800) TAU-SETI. Be sure to provide us with a postal address to which we will mail further information. The SETI League, Inc. is a membership-supported, non-profit [501(c)(3)], educational and scientific corporation dedicated to the scientific Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
P.S. Tearsheets are always appreciated. Thank you.
entire website copyright © The SETI League, Inc.; Maintained by Microcomm
this page last updated 29 September 2012
Top of Page