A Li-Fi Universe

I recently watched a Ted Talk by Harald Hass. He demonstrated the technology of Li-Fi (Light Fidelity). In short, it is the use of the visible light part of the electromagnetic spectrum to transmit data. Technology such as Wi-Fi uses the radio wave part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Li-Fi has a far, far greater data capacity than Wi-Fi.

In a way, astronomy utilizes a type of “Light Communication” already. Stars communicate their composition by emitting a certain spectrum of light. Astronomers then decode the light to determine what elements are present.

Some theorize that light travels at different speeds when in different mediums and perhaps in interstellar space. What if the speed of light moves a great deal faster between star systems?

Stars could communicate, or be a part of a communication network, in Li-Fi. Not to mention that stars also emit radio waves (Wi-Fi), ultraviolet waves etc. Quite a large spectrum.

Spiral Galaxy

Billions of stars buzzing with electromagnetic emissions.

And to go further out on a limb; what if stars are the equivalent of neurons or have the capacity for thought themselves? If the thoughts of these thinking beings move slower, at a different time rate than ours…. the time spans that it takes to receive information from star to star, may not seem long.

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25 thoughts on “A Li-Fi Universe

    1. ISKMogul

      Assuming that humanity harnesses the insane amounts of light pollution for data transference in some way, then maybe. But joking aside, the LiFi tech is based on a specially modified and transmitted burst on specific points on the spectrum, not just “light” in general. So it would take mass saturation of this tech to reach the amount of data in fiber overall. Though the data speeds of LiFi have been said to be anywhere from 10Gbit/sec to 224Gbit/sec.

      1. Uncle Patrick

        Wow. I don’t think I have much to contribute here. Except to say we should all keep an open mind. People thousand years ago would never have believed in television. Progress is always unpredictable. We might discover a larger intelligence sooner than we think.

  1. Endss

    Light can be obstructed easily since it travels in a straight line. Maybe if we come up with a system that can rectify any effects due to obstruction. It will force us to use guide stars so that transfer of data can be fast. That will be a good idea, can include the use of lasers?

    1. fueledbycaffeine

      It can also be deflected by mirrors and fiber optics though. I don’t see this tech conquering space anytime soon, but I can see it revolutionizing how we think of high speed wireless networks in a very short amount of time, especially since we still lack a good LAN replacement.

  2. nss

    This is a crazy cool idea, to see what information stars hold. I’ve never thought much of them, only that they are bright and beautiful and very far away. There are so many possibilities that you point out that I honestly would never even dream of.

  3. polski691

    This article really blew my mind! To all those pioneers still looking to find the equivalent of alien life on other planets, this could really usher in a new medium and a new technique to continue our search. For all we know, our visual images of planets and stars could be transmitting messages to anyone advanced enough or critical enough to try and decipher them. Truly fascinating stuff!

  4. Jasmine2015

    This is a really thought provoking article. There has been a lot of discoveries about light and I hope we continue to learn more about it. It must be nice to be able to travel to space and see the stars shining their light.

  5. CrowdedHighways

    This is a crazy idea, but it might just work. I can’t even begin to imagine what else we could achieve with this technology. The possibilities are truly endless!

  6. Be-You

    I adore you brave assumption that stars might think. This would be incredible and would change the way we consider stars as only material being. And different speed of light would be explained as different thoughts from different stars. You have blown my imagination! What courage to turn all our old world of thoughts upside-down. It’s time we use Light Communication but we still can’t afford its higher costs.

  7. rhauze

    Well, I definitely never even considered that stars could be sentient beings. I think the speed of light gets in the way here, though. How long would it take stars to communicate with each other? Of course, it may all be relative since they live so long.

    1. oportosanto

      Stars seem to be living far away from us, but this only proves that even if we are advanced technologically, we are still stuck in that time barrier. If we could transcend it and travel at the speed of light, it would look closer right?

    2. anorexorcist

      I think that it doesn’t have to do a lot with how much do they live in order to get to know how fast they can communicate themselves… As the author mentioned it’s most probable that it has to do with the lo-fi thingy, we need to determinate it’s speed and a lot of other factors to really make a theory out of this.

  8. Sparkster

    Everything in the universe, including Earth, solar systems, stars, galaxies, etc are all conscious living sentient beings. Energy is all that there is – consciousness is universal and exists outside of the mind/body. I do believe that stars communicate information between each other virtually instantaneously and that they form a vast network throughout the universe. What you mentioned about different forms of light (which is, essentially, just electromagnetism) may also tie in with many scientist’s beliefs that there must be some medium for light (and thought) to propagate upon (ether). Scientists also recently managed to achieve sending information from one city to another using light waves (Li-Fi).

  9. spaceboytaylor

    That’s a pretty awesome thought. Stars being sentient defiantly is an out-there thought, but when you think about it, humans invented the whole idea of life as we know it, and we have no real evidence that they don’t communicate and they don’t have thoughts running through their heads. Just they live differently than us. I’d love to know what the stars could be talking about to each other.

    1. Sparkster

      Well, if you think about it logically, even we are made of “star stuff” and this isn’t a pseudoscientific belief or an assumption. It’s scientific fact. There’s also the recent quantum mechanical theory of biocentrism which says that consciousness is universal – it exists everywhere and is generated outside of the human mind and body and it fits in with the age old philosophy of panpsychism (pan = everywhere, psyche = consciousness). The carbon, nitrogen and oxygen atoms in our bodies were created in previous generations of stars over 4.5-billion years ago.

  10. ISKMogul

    LiFi has to be paired with an existing fiber connection to achieve speeds beyond that of traditional WiFi. So until broadband saturation improves greatly, this technology will have very limited appeal to a wealthy segment of the population.

  11. Coolbutlame

    That sounds wonderful. Let me know when they release a beta version of this technology because I really want to try it out. Your pondering at the end does leave me curious though: there could be a whole language of the stars that keeps them in motion, be it literal or figurative. The most important thing about it is that we have a prototype for plasma internet! 😀

  12. KCDavis

    I have never even considered the idea of stars really being alive. I have always thought of them more like plants. Alive but not able to feel or communicate. Very interesting topic.

  13. oportosanto

    Quite fascinating to be reading about this. Certainly that it’s a complex topic, but just the idea that we could benefit from the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum shows how much we have evolved technologically.

    @KCDavis, stars and planets are pretty much alive!

  14. rz3300

    Well this is just one of the reasons why I love the TED Talks series. I had no idea about this, but it is always fun to hear about new potentials and new technologies. I have to admit when I first read the title I thought that it was something low or not as good, because of the LI, but boy was I wrong. Thank you for sharing this, and I am going to have to look more into this and I can’t wait to see where it takes us.

  15. anorexorcist

    Imagine that? Having this in mind, what if the universe were a thinking being-ish? So… That would mean that we are in fact, part of something bigger, and that is just a little part of the whole thing… What stars would be thinking? Do they have a plan? Is that even possible? This blog is making me have the weirdest ideas, man. And I love it.

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