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The Drake Equation
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koala
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Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 712

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:00 pm    Post subject: The Drake Equation Reply with quote

Scientists like to estimate, especially when there isn't a direct way of measuring something.

The 'Drake Equation' has been used to estimate the number of intelligent civilisations in our galaxy that might want to communicate their presence to us! It looks like this:


N = R* x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x L

What does this mean?

N is the number of intelligent civilisations trying to converse with the Planet Earth.
R is the rate at which stars are made in the galaxy each year. Most astronomers suggest a value of around 10 per year.
fp is the fraction of stars that have a planetary system.
ne is the number of planets that will have a suitable atmosphere etc. to support life.
fl is the probability that life will develop on a suitable planet.
fi is the probability that life will become intelligent.
fc is the probability that intelligent life will develop interstellar communications (e.g. radio communication).
L is the length of time that a technologically advanced civilisation will survive before it destroys itself.

Estimate a value for N like this:

1. Assume R is 10 per year.

2. Estimate for yourself what each of the other values is. For any that are 'fractions' or 'probabilities' choose a value of between 0.1% and 100% - your guess is as good as anyone else's! NB: 0.1% is the same as one chance in a thousand.

3. ne is also most easily estimated as a %. Choose a value from 0.1% to 100%.

4. L is best chosen from a limited range of values:
100 years, 1000 years, 10 000 years, 100 000 years, 1 million years, 10m years, 100m years, 1 billion years.


5. Finally, multiply all your estimates using a calculator. You have successfully calculated a value for N.

......so! let us know what you think now!

koala
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haunted



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never heard about this theory, where did you find it? Who created it? Anything else behind the equation?
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koala
Site Admin


Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 712

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This equation was devised by Dr Frank Drake (now Emeritus Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz) in the 1960s in an attempt to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our galaxy with which we might come in contact. The main purpose of the equation is to allow scientists to quantify the uncertainty of the factors which determine the number of extraterrestrial civilizations. In recent years, the Rare Earth hypothesis, which posits that conditions for intelligent life are quite rare in the universe, has been seen as a possible refutation of the equation.

The Drake equation is closely related to the Fermi paradox.
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bitterbuck1
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Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 3958
Location: Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is amazing what you can come up with using a little math............well, for this allot of math. Confused
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jordan



Joined: 27 Jun 2007
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no i dont you do tho Evil or Very Mad
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