This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

"Where Is Everybody" An Exploration Of The Fermi Paradox

2960 words - 12 pages

Historical background

Over a 1950 summer lunch at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the great physicist Enrico Fermi asked his colleagues an unexpected question – “Don’t you ever wonder where everybody is?” Laughter went around the table as everyone immediately knew that he was talking about extraterrestrial intelligence [1]. If life arises fairly commonly, as Fermi believed, it follows that there should be advanced civilizations with the desire to visit and colonize Earth close enough to do so. However, there is no incontrovertible evidence of aliens on Earth, either now or in the past. This is called the Fermi Paradox. The lack of observational evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence is known as the ‘Great Silence.’[13]

Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison published a paper in Nature in September 1959, in which they suggest a probable frequency at which alien civilizations would attempt to communicate: 1.420 GHz. This is the frequency of electromagnetic radiation emitted by neutral Hydrogen during a change of energy state. The frequency is an important physical and astronomical value, would almost certainly be known by any civilization capable of communication, and it requires only relatively simple technology to broadcast at this frequency. As Cocconi and Morrison put it, “It is reasonable to expect that sensitive receivers for this frequency would be made at an early stage of the development of radioastronomy. That would be the expectation of the operators of the assumed source, and the present state of terrestrial instruments indeed justifies the expectation.” In other words, it makes sense that aliens would come to the same conclusion about the 1.420 GHz frequency. If the aliens want to communicate with us, they should be broadcasting at this frequency. [2]

Extraterrestrial civilizations may have no wish to communicate with us. In the wild, creatures do not necessarily want to be found. Many in fact evolve mechanisms to hide. A noisy planet may put itself at risk of interstellar predators. Human beings certainly make no effort to mask our footprints; constant probes and signals emanate from planet Earth in hope of satisfying our insatiable curiosity and relieving our stellar loneliness, but there is no reason to believe that other civilizations necessarily have the same tendencies we do. Luckily, the laws of physics allow the detection of civilizations that may not wish to be found.

A sufficiently advanced alien civilization may construct a massive device around its star in order to capture most or all of its radiant energy. This is known as a ‘Dyson Sphere,’ suggested in 1960 by Freeman Dyson. Such devices would be employed by a Kardashev Type II or III civilization. Due to the inescapable laws of thermodynamics, the energy utilized by the civilization must eventually be radiated in the form of heat. Dyson’s 1960 paper proposed searching for advanced civilizations by examining signals in the infrared spectrum,...

Find Another Essay On "Where is everybody" An exploration of the Fermi Paradox

The paradox of nothing Essay

679 words - 3 pages it into an ironic form of Nihilism, or faith in nothing, bringing with it her ultimate calamity. First impression includes much of Hulga’s character, with her repugnant and discriminating air, so starts the most interesting nihilistic paradox. So indignant and frustrated, seemingly with others but truly with herself. Her shallow ways contradicting with the nature of her knowledge, failing to live up to easily the oldest philosophical admonitions

The Paradox of Capitalism Essay

2533 words - 11 pages Capitalism is an engine of economic growth that drives innovation faster than any sports car imaginable. Driving into oblivion can be thrilling, but it always has risks. The paradox of capitalism is subjective. For the working class, capitalism is a derogatory term symbolizing the exploitation of the poor by the strong and powerful. For the ruling class, it symbolizes a system where opportunities abound for those who are devoted, innovative, and

The Paradox of Sacrifice

1513 words - 7 pages right?” she asked. I wondered if that was the reason why she didn’t accept any visitors, except for me. She must have worried about me, and I spaced out for a moment thinking. “Hey!” she said with an angered look. “Of course not, I don’t have any where to go, other than here!” I replied. She was relieved, and she would cherish those words eternally. “I thought so, I thought you wouldn’t,” she said. She started to cry, as she wiped each tear away

Mactbeth. Power is the Paradox

960 words - 4 pages old man to have had so much blood in him?' (Act V, Scene 1) Lady Macbeth is suffering from an illness of her own cause. The power brought with it much suffering and trouble.Though people seek both power and security, the two ends are in conflict. The power of knowledge and the pursuit of power lead to a decline in comfort, and those without power find the most comfort. Macbeth and his wife find power to be troublesome, with those they killed

An Exploration of Molding

2937 words - 12 pages of a process). TYPES OF INJECTION MOLDING • REACTION INJECTION MOLDING Process for molding polyurethane, epoxy, and other chemical systems. A mixture of two to four components in proper chemical ratio is delivered into the mold at low pressure, where it reacts. • LIQUID INJECTION MOLDING Proces that involves an integrated system for mixing dual components liquid resin formulation and directly injecting the resultant mix into a mold which

An Exploration of the Theoretical Support of the 24 Game

991 words - 4 pages Mathematical Exploration: The 24 game An exploration of the theoretical support of the 24 game An introduction to the 24 game: Overview: The 24 game is a mathematical card game which originated from China in the 1960s and popularized in China and America later. It is a game which required its players to make fast calculations, and it can be competitive. After years of spreading and development, the game has derived into a lot of different

The Paradox of Electoral Economics

2064 words - 9 pages , greatly affects the direction in which elections go. For example, a poor economy could cause an official to get elected out of office or it can result in their election defeat. In short, according to the paradox, economic performances are the best predictor of who wins an election. Another idea established by the paradox is that governments often make economic decisions on the basis of non-economic considerations. In other words, politicians or

An exploration of the ways in which pride is presented in William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing"

2090 words - 8 pages "Much Ado About Nothing" is a highly successful play, and one of the reasons for this is because of the way in which the themes are explored and presented by Shakespeare. As well as its light-hearted elements, such as the comical exchanges in the "merry war" between two central characters Beatrice and Benedick, and the highly varied exploration of the values, tests and rewards of love, there are also the more contemplative areas, such as the

The Paradox of Perceived Reality

1500 words - 6 pages The paradox of reality is constantly being altered by the minds of the public. Reality as a definition is "the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them." However, what is reality? Everyone has his or her own opinion and view of what is in front of them. The stories reviewed in this section are prime examples on how ones view can dramatically change the conditions they are

The Ironic Paradox of Love!

867 words - 4 pages peaceful solution but recognizes Romeo’s and Juliet’s marriage (5. 3. 306). From this perspective, a love that is fundamentally flimsy could in reality convey powerful effects. In conclusion, it is an ironic paradox that love that seems totally powerless can become so dominant and dictates the plot of this tragedy of Shakespeare’s. Love, although delusional at all times, gives both Romeo and Juliet the strength and determination to move on even in

The Great Gatsby as an Exploration of the American Dream

2053 words - 8 pages one man. It is about how the American Dream, which promised both material and spiritual fulfillment, is too fantastic an ideal ever to be realized. The novel is both an exploration and a savage criticism of the Dream. Fitzgerald describes a world where wealth and power have become the new "savage gods", a spiritually hollow world, where corruption, poverty and social discrimination are rife. For every one resident of East Egg there will be a

Similar Essays

Greene's Exploration Of The Paradox Of The Sinner Is Often The Saint

2644 words - 11 pages Greene's Exploration of the Paradox ofThe Sinner is Often the Saint "The Sinner is often the Saint" - In order to come to terms with this paradox the reader must be aware of the definitions of the words 'sinner' and 'saint'. As it is understood today, a 'saint' is one who transgresses God's known will. Greene uses the character of Scobie in his novel 'The Heart of the Matter' to explore the paradox in the above

Enrico Fermi And The Development Of The Atomic Bomb

1289 words - 5 pages proved that it was very possible to build an atomic bomb. "Fermi's task however, was to create a controlled nuclear reaction; that is to split an atom without creating a deadly explosion" (Sonneborn 69). President Roosevelt was then convinced to appoint Fermi head of a research team of the secret project of developing an atomic bomb. "From that first small pile grew production reactors that bred plutonium for the first atom bombs" (154

Home Is Where The Fandom Is: An Examination Of Pop Culture Blogs

1439 words - 6 pages The average person does many different things to relax after a long day, perhaps even a long week at work. They escape the daily stresses of life by any means necessary, finding solace in the back of a smokey club, at the bottom of a wine bottle at a friend’s apartment on a Saturday night, perhaps in the confines of an old book at their local library. For some people, however, this place of leisure, relaxation, and escape is not a physical

Is The Birthday Paradox True? Essay

1130 words - 5 pages  Birthday Paradox First we are going to talk about probability theory, which has to do with mathematics and analysis of random phenomena. You are probably used to putting the number of outcomes over the total amount of the object or total amount what you have. An example is, if you have a normal dice and you want the probability of rolling an odd number, you would take the total amount of odd numbers (3) and put that over the total (6) amount of numbers