Areas of Expertise (4)
After completing his undergraduate degree at the Indian Institute of Technology (Bombay), Dr. Lingam moved to the University of Texas at Austin, where he obtained his Ph.D. in Physics. He then undertook postdoctoral stints at Princeton University, Harvard University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Dr. Lingam is currently an assistant professor of astrobiology in the Department of Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences at Florida Tech.
Dr. Lingam's research interests are situated primarily within the transdisciplinary area of astrobiology. As a theorist, his research is mostly oriented towards: (a) exploring the multiple factors that regulate the habitability of planets and moons within and outside the solar system, and (b) identifying potential signatures of extraterrestrial life that might be detectable by forthcoming observations.
For instance, Dr. Lingam has worked on determining how the available fluxes of nutrients and energy may dictate the productivity of putative biospheres and detectability of biosignatures on a wide variety of worlds ranging from desert and ocean planets to icy moons with subsurface oceans such as Europa and Enceladus.
Another area of continuing interest is understanding how stellar processes such as winds, flares, coronal mass ejections and energetic particles govern planetary habitability in many ways, ranging from atmospheric escape to the synthesis of crucial molecules in prebiotic chemistry. He has also explored how high-energy phenomena shape the distribution of life in our galaxy by suppressing habitability (via active galactic nuclei, tidal disruption events, etc.) and how the number of life-bearing worlds is modulated by the transfer of life through rocky ejecta.
As Dr. Lingam's Ph.D. and initial postdoctoral research was in plasma physics, he continues to work sporadically in this field. Some of the areas he has investigated include Hamiltonian and Lagrangian formulations for plasma models, developing fluid models that accurately encapsulate collisional effects, generation of small- and large-scale magnetic fields, magnetic turbulence (e.g., in the solar wind), and fast magnetic reconnection which is believed to drive explosive phenomena such as stellar/solar flares.
Media Appearances (5)
China Says They May Have Found Traces Of Alien Life
Although we have absolutely no evidence that fast radio bursts are the result of alien activity, life in the far-off reaches of space is still cited as a possible origin of the phenomenon. The people suggesting aliens could be responsible for fast radio bursts aren't wrapped in aluminum foil or working as talking heads on the History channel, but rather they're quite accomplished. A Harvard study by professors Manasvi Lingam and Avi Loeb is one of the releases from major institutions that have given weight to the theory. Lingham and Loeb claim a transmitter capable of sending radio signals across the distances fast radio bursts may be traveling would need to be huge and require an immense amount of power — equivalent to the sunlight hitting an area twice the size of Earth. The source, according to Lingham and Loeb, could be the "interstellar light sails" of a space-faring vessel that has a "payload of a million tons."
Impact of black hole winds, radiation examined in new study
"The impact of AGN outflows on the surface habitability of terrestrial planets in the Milky Way" is a research paper by the team of astrobiologist Manasvi Lingam and astrophysicist Eric Perlman from Florida Tech's Department of Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences, as well as researchers from the University of Rome, University of Maryland and Goddard Space Flight Center. Published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the paper examines the effects of the supermassive black hole at our galaxy's center on the atmosphere of planets in the Milky Way. The paper focuses on two key mechanisms: how black hole winds can heat atmospheres and drive atmospheric escape, as well as how they can stimulate the formation of nitrogen oxides and thus lead to ozone depletion.
Free-Floating Exoplanets with Subsurface Oceans Could Sustain Life
Dr. Manasvi Lingam from the Department of Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology and Professor Avi Loeb of Harvard University have studied how life might survive on free-floating, or rogue, planets — interstellar planetary-mass objects without a host planetary system — via oceans prevalent underneath a thick layer of ice.
Florida Tech Astrobiologist Manasvi Lingam’s Research Suggests Rogue Planets Could Sustain Life
Space Coast Daily News
In research highlighted this summer in Discover Magazine, university astrobiologist Manasvi Lingam (along with Harvard researcher Avi Loeb) studied how life might survive on a rogue planet via oceans prevalent underneath a thick layer of ice.
Planets Gone Rogue Could Sustain Life, According to Recent Study
Florida Tech News
In research highlighted this summer in Discover Magazine, university astrobiologist Manasvi Lingam (along with Harvard researcher Avi Loeb) studied how life might survive on a rogue planet via oceans prevalent underneath a thick layer of ice. The cold of interstellar space would be too much for the oceans to remain entirely liquid, but the researchers believe any putative biospheres would be protected from the cold via the ice layer, and the planet’s core would heat the planet from the inside. Underneath the ice would potentially exist Earth-like oceans that could support life.
The University of Texas at Austin: Ph.D., Physics 2015
Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay: B.Tech., Engineering Physics 2009
Selected Articles (5)
The impact of AGN outflows on the surface habitability of terrestrial planets in the Milky WayMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Opportunities for Technosignature Science in the Astro2020 ReportarXiv:2203.08968
The Case for Technosignatures: Why They May Be Abundant, Long-lived, Highly Detectable, and UnambiguousThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
Detectability of Chlorofluorocarbons in the Atmospheres of Habitable M-dwarf PlanetsThe Planetary Science Journal
Tidal modulations and the habitability of exoplanetary systems Get access ArrowMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society