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# Does intelligent life exist elsewhere in the Universe? The Drake Equation

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Could there be 100,000,000 other civilizations scattered out across the universe? Or only 10? Or what are the chances that WE are alone? Features a step-by-step mathematical assessment (using Drake's equation) to calculate the possibilities of life, or even civilizations, elsewhere in the universe.

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### Does intelligent life exist elsewhere in the Universe? The Drake Equation

1. 1. Does intelligent life existelsewhere in the universe?The Drake Equation
2. 2. Does life exist elsewherein the universe? Photo courtesy of NASA
3. 3. Images courtesy of R. Femmer And might there be otheradvanced civilizations out there?
4. 4. Images courtesy of R. Femmer What are the chances of technologically-advancedcivilizations elsewhere in the universe? And how many such civilizations, if any, might there be?
5. 5. We don’t know yet…… Images courtesy of R. Femmer
6. 6. But we can conduct a preliminary analysis using “The Drake Equation” Photo courtesy of NASA
7. 7. The math that we will use is known as The Drake Equation *N = ( R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L)
8. 8. N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L)
9. 9. The equation was originally developed byN = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) Dr. Frank Drake When he was professor of physics and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz
10. 10. What possibilities can its mathematics suggest?
11. 11. Drake’s Equation N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) We would like to estimate “N” – thepotential numbers of technologically advanced civilizations elsewhere in the universe Photo courtesy of NASA
12. 12. Drake’s Equation N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) We would like to estimate “N” – thepotential numbers of technologically advanced civilizations elsewhere in the universe Photo courtesy of NASA The number will vary, of course, with different starting assumptions
13. 13. Drake’s Equation N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) We would like to estimate “N” – thepotential numbers of technologically advanced civilizations elsewhere in the universe Photo courtesy of NASA Drake’s equation allows us to test alternate assumptions in a methodical and analytic way
14. 14. The good news is that the math itself will be done by this presentation
15. 15. Drake’s Equation N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L)We start with an estimate of the number of stars Photo courtesy of NASA
16. 16. Drake’s Equation N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) We start with an estimate of the number of stars Footnote: After completing this introductory presentation , wecould use Drake’s equation to test other estimates Photo courtesy of NASA such as the “fraction of stars with suitable characteristics” (not all stars are sun-like, for example)
17. 17. Drake’s Equation N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) Fractionof stars that have Photo courtesy of NASA planets
18. 18. We can employ different estimates here to test the effects if planets turn out to be extremely common - or if they are comparatively rare Drake’s Equation N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) Fractionof stars that have Photo courtesy of NASA planets
19. 19. Drake’s Equation N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L)What fraction of planets are HABITABLE (earth-like, for example) Photo courtesy of NASA
20. 20. Drake’s Equation N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) What fraction of planets are HABITABLE (earth-like, for example)Not all planets , for example, are likely to be suitable for life We want only ‘earth-like’ planets or Photo courtesy of NASAothers whose conditions allow life to exist
21. 21. Drake’s Equation N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) What portion of habitable planets are actually inhabited by LIFE-FORMS of any sort? Yeast cellsArtwork courtesy of R. Femmer Anything like these? Marine plankton
22. 22. Drake’s Equation N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) What portion of INHABITED planets include ‘intelligent’ life?Photo courtesy John Mosesso, life.nbii.gov
23. 23. Drake’s Equation N = * (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) What portion of INHABITED planets include ‘intelligent’ life? Tool-making? Mathematical?Photo courtesy John Mosesso, life.nbii.gov Technological? On earth, there are multiple ‘degrees’ of intelligence Which organisms would satisfy the definition we would use? Chimps? Dolphins? Only humans?
24. 24. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) What fraction of planets with intelligent beings will also have CIVILIZATIONS?Photo courtesy NASA
25. 25. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) What fraction of planets with intelligent beings will also have CIVILIZATIONS?Photo courtesy NASA And must they be technologically- advanced civilizations or not?
26. 26. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) We will be saving this factor for laterPhoto courtesy NASA
27. 27. Part TwoLet’s insert some numerical estimates and see what results we obtain
28. 28. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L)Early analyses using Drake’s equation often employed estimates of the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy Photo courtesy of NASA
29. 29. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L)Early analyses using Drake’s equation often employed estimates of the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy For this presentation, however, assume that an approximate number of 23 stars in the entire universe is something like 1 x 10 Photo courtesy of NASA This would mean that the value of R* would be 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 total stars
30. 30. Drake’s Equation *N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) 23If the number of stars present in the universe is 1 x 10 What if PLANETS are RARE and only 1/10th of 1% have planets?
31. 31. Drake’s Equation *N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) 23If the number of stars present in the universe is 1 x 10 What if PLANETS are RARE and only 1/10th of 1% have planets? 3 1 out of 1 x 10 …1 out of 1,000…
32. 32. Do the calculation 231. x 10 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 1000
33. 33. Do the calculation 231. x 10 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 1000 100 000 000 000 000 000 000
34. 34. Do the calculation 231. x 10 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 1000 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 1 x 10 23 divided by 1 x 10 3 = 1 x 1020
35. 35. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L)So if there are approximately 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets What if EARTH-LIKE planets are rare and only 1/10th of 1% of planets are HABITABLE? Photo courtesy of NASA
36. 36. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L)So if there are approximately 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets What if EARTH-LIKE planets are rare and only 1/10th of 1% of planets are HABITABLE? 3 1 out of 1 x 10 Photo courtesy of NASA …1 out of 1,000…
37. 37. Do the calculation 201. x 10 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 1000
38. 38. Do the calculation 201. x 10 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 1000 100 000 000 000 000 000
39. 39. Do the calculation 201. x 10 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 1000 100 000 000 000 000 000 1 x 1020 divided by 1 x 10 3 = 1 x 1017
40. 40. Do the calculation 201. x 10 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 1000 100 000 000 000 000 000 1 x 10 20 divided by 1 x 10 3 = 1 x 1017 So this would suggest approximately 100,000,000,000,000,000 planets with conditions suitable for life
41. 41. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) Even if, however, there were approximately 100 000 000 000 000 000 habitable earth-like planets What if development of LIFE on habitable planets is also RAREand only 1/10th of 1% of habitable planets are hosts to life ?
42. 42. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) Even if, however, there were approximately 100 000 000 000 000 000 habitable earth-like planets What if development of LIFE on habitable planets is also RAREand only 1/10th of 1% of habitable planets are hosts to life ? 1 out of 1000
43. 43. Do the calculation 171. x 10 100 000 000 000 000 000 1000
44. 44. Do the calculation 171. x 10 100 000 000 000 000 000 1000 100 000 000 000 000
45. 45. Do the calculation 171. x 10 100 000 000 000 000 000 1000 100 000 000 000 000 1 x 1017 divided by 1 x 10 3 = 1 x 1014
46. 46. Do the calculation 171. x 10 100 000 000 000 000 000 1000 100 000 000 000 000 1 x 1017 divided by 1 x 10 3 = 1 x 1014 So this would suggest approximately 100,000,000,000,000 planets with some sort of life
47. 47. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) So if there are approximately 100 000 000 000 000 planets with life-forms of some sort, What if INTELLIGENT life is a rare occurrence andonly 1/10th of 1% of planets develop intelligent beings?
48. 48. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) So if there are approximately 100 000 000 000 000 planets with life-forms of some sort, What if INTELLIGENT life is a rare occurrence andonly 1/10th of 1% of planets develop intelligent beings? 3 1 out of 1 x 10 …1 out of 1,000…
49. 49. Do the calculation 141. x 10 Artwork courtesy of R. Femmer 100 000 000 000 000 1000
50. 50. Do the calculation 141. x 10 100 000 000 000 000 1000 100 000 000 000 1 x 1014 divided by 1 x 10 3 = 1 x 1011 If correct, this would mean approximately 100 000 000 000 planets with intelligent life
51. 51. Photo courtesy of NASAADVANCED CIVILIZATIONS
52. 52. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) So even if there might exist approximately 100 000 000 000 planets that are home to some form of intelligent life, What if ADVANCED CIVILIZATIONS rarely develop and only 1/10th of 1% of planets develop advanced civilizationsPhoto courtesy of NASA
53. 53. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) So even if there might exist approximately 100 000 000 000 planets that are home to some form of intelligent life, What if ADVANCED CIVILIZATIONS rarely develop and only 1/10th of 1% of planets develop advanced civilizationsPhoto courtesy of NASA 3 1 out of 1 x 10 …1 out of 1,000…
54. 54. Do the calculation 11 1. x 10 Photo courtesy of NASA 100 000 000 000 1000Photo courtesy of NASA
55. 55. Do the calculation 11 1. x 10 Photo courtesy of NASA 100 000 000 000 1000 100 000 000Photo courtesy of NASA
56. 56. Do the calculation 11 1. x 10 Photo courtesy of NASA 100 000 000 000 1000 100 000 000Photo courtesy of NASA 1 x 1011 divided by 1 x 10 3 = 1 x 108
57. 57. Do the calculation 11 1. x 10 Photo courtesy of NASA 100 000 000 000 1000 100 000 000Photo courtesy of NASA 1 x 1011 divided by 1 x 10 3 = 1 x 108 So this would suggest the possibility of 100 000 000 planets with technological civilizations
58. 58. Drake’s Equation *N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) This seems very impressive Think how amazing it would be if 100,000,000 planets with civilizations actually exist
59. 59. Drake’s Equation *N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) Recall, however, this factor , which we deferred earlier Can you guess what it is?
60. 60. Drake’s Equation *N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) Recall, however, this factor , which we deferred earlier Can you guess what it is? It is …. time ….
61. 61. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) This factor is …. time …. and it is very soberingbecause our own planet has had dozens of great civilizations, but only over the last century do we meet a definitionof “technologically advanced” communicative civilizations For example, radio telescopes
62. 62. Drake’s Equation * N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) Thus, this factor represents the percentage of a planet’s lifetime, LImages courtesy of R. Femmer that is marked by the presence of intelligent beings with a technologically-advanced communicative civilization
63. 63. If civilizations do not begin instantly, take a long time to appear and develop, and do not last foreverand only exist FOR TINY FRACTIONS of their planet’s total lifetime
64. 64. or for only a tinyportion of the totalelapsed time of the universe itself Photo courtesy of NASA
65. 65. Then we must divide once again
66. 66. 8Suppose that somehow 1 x 10 advanced civilizations manage to develop -7 If, however, they only exist for a 1 x 10 portion of their planet’s lifetime ** Earth is about 4.4 billion years old Then 1 x 108 = 1 x 101 = 10 7 1 x 10
67. 67. 8 1 x 10 = 1 x 101 = 10 7 1 x 10 Thus, given the estimates suppositions, and assumptions that we have used in this sample analysisJust ten planets with technologically advanced civilizations might exist at a particular moment in time
68. 68. Employing the estimatesand mathematics used in our example, there may be only TEN other advanced civilizations out there somewhere at this moment in time
69. 69. or there could be NONE at all
70. 70. we may be it…
71. 71. It makes you think - doesn’t it ?
72. 72. What responsibility does this place upon our shoulders?
73. 73. Photo courtesy of NASA
74. 74. *N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) Footnotes For convenience, this presentation assumed a 1/10 th of 1% probability for each factor in its discussion But the percentages that one chooses to assign to each factor can and should be modified on the basis of humankind’s ever- increasing knowledge and understandings For example, solar systems with multiple planets may not be rare at all, but may be very common so that the equation could be run again to reflect a much higher number of planets
75. 75. *N *= (R ) ( fp ) (ne) ( fl ) ( fi ) ( fc ) ( L) Footnotes On the other hand, many stars are very different than our sun and may be unsuitable for sustaining life as we know it In that case, the value that that we assign to factor R* should probably be adjusted We could adjust R* downward, for example, by adding a factor fs to the equation to incorporate a “fraction of suitable stars” into our estimates
76. 76. FootnotesMany scholars and authors have utilizedand discussed Drake’s equationA web search of books and other resourceswill reward viewers of this presentationwith many additional insights concerning itsimplications and applicationsParticular credit should go to Frank Drake,however, and his fellow astronomer CarlSagan
77. 77. Made available courtesy of The Wecskaop Project What Every Citizen Should Know About Our PlanetImages courtesy of R. Femmer
78. 78. Images courtesy of R. Femmer
79. 79. Images courtesy of R. Femmer
80. 80. Images courtesy of R. Femmer