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Avi Loeb Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Avi Loeb
Avi Loeb was born February 26, 1962 in Beit Hanan Israel. Before he received his PhD in plasma physics at the age of 24, he took part in the national Talpiot program from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in the year 1986.

From 1983 until 1988, he led the very first international project which was supported by the US Strategic Defense Initiative. Then between 1988 and 1993, he was a long term member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, where he began working in theoretical astrophysics. He moved to Harvard University, in 1993, as an assistant professor in the astronomy department, where he was tenured three years later.

He has written eight books, and roughly eight hundred papers, covering a wide range of topics. These topics include the first stars, the future of the Universe, black holes, and the search for extraterrestrial life. In the year 2010, he wrote a textbook titled How Did the First Stars and Galaxies Form? He also wrote The First Galaxies in the Universe with a former student named Steve Furlanetto.

In a sequence of papers that he wrote with his postdocs and students, he addressed when and how the first black holes and stars formed and what effects they had on the young universe.

Then, in the year 2013, he introduced the new idea of “The Habitable Epoch of the Early Universe”, and mentored Henry Lin, a Harvard undergrad, in the study of industrial pollution on exoplanets as a new method of searching for extraterrestrial civilizations. In April of 2021, he presented an updated summary of his ideas of life in this early universe.

Not very long after ‘Oumuamua was spotted, he made waves when he proposed that it might be a piece of alien technology, saying that it might be a fully operational probe which was sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by some alien civilization.

In the year 2020, he published a research paper on the possibility that life is able to propagate from one planet to another, which he followed up with the opinion piece called “Noah’s Spaceship” which was about directed panspermia.

Avi says that he doesn’t enjoy science fiction since there are certain things in the genre which violate the laws of physics. He likes fiction and science, but prefers to keep the two separate.

He also isn’t religious, feeling that if you take nothing and multiply it by a number, it stays zero. He was secular to begin with. Instead, he is struck by the order there is in the universe, by the existence of laws of nature, and by all the regularity. He’s always in awe of the way laws of nature that are found on Earth appear to apply all the way out to the edges of the universe. It is rather remarkable.

This universe could have been chaotic and quite disorganized. However it still obeys a set of laws a lot better than people obey laws on Earth. He feels that his work as a scientist is largely based on evidence and mere rational thinking.

He was Founding Director of Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative (2016-2021), had been the longest serving Chair of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy (2011-2020), and Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation starting in 2007. All of this within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Avi is an elected fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the International Academy of Astronauts. He was once a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) at the White House, a member of the Advisory Board for “Einstein: Visualize the Impossible”, and a former chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies from 2018 until 2021. Avi also chairs the Advisory Committee for the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative which began in 2016, and serves as the Science Theory Director for all Initiatives of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.

Loeb was selected among the fourteen most inspiring Israelis of the past decade in 2020, and in 2012, TIME magazine picked him as being one of the 25 most influential people in space.

“Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Life” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 2021. Harvard’s top astronomer lays out his controversial theory about how our solar system was recently visited by some advanced alien technology from some distant star.

Late in the year 2017, scientists at a Hawaiian observatory glimpsed an object that was soaring through our inner solar system, which was moving so fast that it could’ve only come from some other star. Avi Loeb showed that it was not just some asteroid; as it was moving much too fast along a rather strange orbit, and didn’t leave any trail of gas or debris behind in its wake. There was just a single conceivable explanation: the object was actually a piece of advanced tech that was created by some distant alien civilization.

In this book, Avi takes readers inside of the thrilling tale about the first interstellar visitor that was spotted in our solar system. He outlines his theory and its profound implications: for religion, for science, and for the future of our planet and our species. A mind-bending journey through the furthest reaches of space-time, science, and the human imagination. This challenges readers to aim for the stars and to think critically about what is actually out there, no matter how odd it seems.

This is a thrilling and provocative read, and Loeb is to be commended for thinking big and to expect the unexpected. The book is part graceful memoir and part plea to keep an open mind about the possibilities of what could be out there in the universe, especially life. Otherwise you may just be missing something rather amazing and end up like the church officials back in the seventeenth century that refused to look through Galileo’s telescope.

This is an engaging, intriguing, and academic yet accessible read that Avi has written. It is a deep probe that thoroughly examines each of the possibilities. You are always interested and engaged along with this book, and Loeb makes a great case to prove his thesis.

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