Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Nuclear-Fluorescent Quantum-Dot Beacon

Use a huge cloud of fluorophores to concentrate the light from a nuke into custom spectra
  [vote for,

Ok, so you set off a massive nuke in space to attract the attention of THEM. However, a big nuke looks a lot like a star. However, if, shortly before you set off the nuke, you explode a big load of quantum dots, or similar fluophores into a big cloud. Now, fluorophores take short wavelengths and re-emit them as a longer wavelengths. Quantum dots are hardy, bright examples, and have particularly tight emission spectra. All highly desirable properties. Additionally, you can pull some tricks with fluophores, such as using the emission spectra of one to excite a second. Better than this, you can physically stick them together and they take really short wavelengths and emit really long ones by passing electrons along in what's known as Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) Meaning you can take a broad spectrum light emitter, such as a candle or nuclear explosion and remove most of the short wavelength and really boost the longer wavelengths. Which should mean you have a great big tight RED beacon, which should be specific enough to stand out as man made. Also, once you've got the cloud of quantum dots, you can keep setting off nukes, and indeed it'll glow all the time (a bit) from the sun.

Inspired by DIYMatt's idea.

bs0u0155, Dec 25 2011

DIYMatt's idea Nuclear_20Interstellar_20Transmitter
[bs0u0155, Dec 25 2011]

FRET http://en.wikipedia...nce_energy_transfer
[bs0u0155, Dec 25 2011]

Nano-diamonds instead? http://againsttheod...orescent-Biomarkers
Can nano-diamonds be used instead of quantum dots? [againsttheodds, Dec 29 2011]


       Huzzah! A giant signal in an unexpected wavelength is just whats needed. Forget Sagan's prime numbers, massive power in all directions is the thing.
spalpeen, Dec 25 2011

       a really narrow spectrum is just as conspicuous as a prime number, or sequence of. You just need to be not-like- other-stars. In fact it'd be (relatively) easy to put a great spherical cloud around a star. You could call it a Dyson's Fluoshpere. little more than CdTe dot dust... simple.
bs0u0155, Dec 25 2011

       You could use three types of Qdot with emission wavelengths in the ratio 5:3:1.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 26 2011

       why 5:3:1? I was thinking 3:1:4? Am I being dumb...?
bs0u0155, Dec 26 2011

       By 3:1:4 were you thinking of pi? If so, that's dependent on what base you count in.   

       By "5:3:1" I was thinking of the first two primes (and 1 as a reference). 1:4:9 (first three squares) could be used, though a nine-fold wavelength ratio might stretch the limits a bit.   

       I'm not sure how "sharp" the emission spectra of Qdots can be made. Those sold commercially tend to have half-height widths of maybe 20nm (which is quite broad), but I do not know if that's an inherent property of the Qdots, or if simply down to the control over their growth. But, if it can't be gotten around, then very fine ratios would be hard to represent clearly.   

       Also, I'm not sure why you'd want to use FRET. Qdots absorb all the way down to deep UV (and, presumably, further down), regardless of their emission wavelength. So, whatever shift you want, you can get it in a single Qdot or not at all.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 26 2011

       Just one thing- It's "Fluorophore," not "Fluophore."   

       But this is a really cool idea! I'm all for innovative solutions to the METI concept- although there are still the serious problems inherent to METI to deal with.
Hive_Mind, Dec 27 2011

       "Just one thing- It's "Fluorophore," not "Fluophore." I really, really should know that...
bs0u0155, Dec 28 2011


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