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Search for Life: SETI by Robert Nemiroff Michigan Technological University.

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Presentation on theme: "Search for Life: SETI by Robert Nemiroff Michigan Technological University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Search for Life: SETI by Robert Nemiroff Michigan Technological University

2 Physics X: About This Course Officially "Extraordinary Concepts in Physics" Being taught for credit at Michigan Tech o Light on math, heavy on concepts o Anyone anywhere is welcome No textbook required o Wikipedia, web links, and lectures only o Find all the lectures with Google at: "Starship Asterisk" then "Physics X" o o asterisk/viewforum.php?f=39

3 The Drake Equation: N = R* x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x L N is the number of civilizations in our Galaxies that are contactable R* is the rate of star formation fp is the fraction of stars that have planets ne is the number of habitable planets per above star fl is the fraction of above planets that develop life fi is the fraction of above life planets that develop intelligent life fc is the fraction of intelligent life planets that are contactable L is the expected lifespan of such a intelligent life civilization

4 The Drake EquationDrake Equation Possible plausible values: o R*=10 stars/year; fp=0.5; ne=2 o fl=1; fi=0.01; fc=0.01; o L=10,000 years Then N~10 Where are they?

5 The Fermi ParadoxFermi Paradox If life is abundant in the Universe where are they? why don't they communicate? Question made famous by Enrico Fermi in 1950 over lunch

6 The Fermi ParadoxFermi Paradox Possible solutions: Human civilization is unique o chance o theology High tech civilizations destroy themselves High tech civilizations destroy each other o when two civilizations meet, one always militarily superior The Universe is naturally dangerous o ask the dinosaurs

7 The Fermi ParadoxFermi Paradox Possible solutions: High tech civilizations choose to remain quiet o self-preservation o Star-Trek like prime directive (zoo hypothesis) o energy efficient (like Cable TV) We can't understand their communications o they are too alien o we don't know how to search o signals look to us like noise

8 Fermi Paradox: Fermi Paradox: von Neumann probes Self-replicating spacecraft that travel the universe. Make the Fermi paradox less restricted. Might absorb large fraction of rocky planets. Astrochicken: Might be part biological Astrochicken RJN ponderable: vN probe = DNA ?

9 Radio, The Big Ear, And The Wow! Signal Credit and Copyright: Rick Scott APOD: 1998 September 17

10 The Very Large Array of Radio Telescopes Credit: Dave Finley, AUI, NRAO, NSF APOD: 2006 May 14

11 A Big Dish at the VLA Radio Observatory Credit & Copyright: Victor Bobbett APOD: 2006 November 29

12 Arecibo: The Largest Telescope Credit: NAIC, Cornell U., NSF APOD: 1998 November 29

13 How to Search for Aliens Credit: SETI@home, UC Berkeley SETI Team APOD: 1999 May 17

14 An Anomalous SETI Signal Credit & Copyright: SETI League 2004 March 7

15 The Voyagers' Message in a Bottle Credit: Voyager Project, JPL, NASA APOD: 2002 August 31

16 A Message From Earth Credit: Frank Drake (UCSC) et al., Arecibo Observatory (Cornell, NAIC) 2005 March 13

17 A Cosmic Call to Nearby Stars Credit & Copyright: Yuvan Dutil & Stephane Dumas 2006 April 2

18 M13: The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules Credit & Copyright: Eddie Guscott APOD: 2004 May 11

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