A scientist has created a device that makes radio waves do what Albert Einstein said was impossible: travel faster than light. If other cultures on other planets have already learned how to do this, it could be the reason that SETI hasn’t picked up any radio signals (alien cultures are no longer making any noise because the beings there are transmitting using light signals instead).

We don’t yet know how to receive faster than light radio signals, but it could be that this is quite possible with the right kind of equipment. If so, then the universe could suddenly become quite a different place: one that is crowded with radio communications, rather than one that is virtually radio silent.

On the website Universe Today, Nancy Atkinson quotes inventor John Singleton as saying, “Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars that emit radio waves in pulses, but what we don’t know is why these pulses are so bright or why they travel such long distances. What we think is these are transmitting the same way our machine does. Because nobody’s really thought about things that travel faster than light before, this is a wide-open technological field.”

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