drakes equation

Drakes equation is used to calculate the likely number of extraterrestrial civilizations in our Milky Way galaxy which we might get in contact. It was developed by Search for EextraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) by Dr. Frank Drake. This equation became the central question of intelligent life in the universe.

The Fermi paradox suggested that evengh though large number of extraterrestrial civilization could exists, difficulty of such finding such extraterrestrial civilization due to the fact that such civilizations tend to destroy themselved quickly. Dakes theory is often used to identify ways in which human beings could destroy themselves. Despite large number of stars in the universe, since there are no observed extraterrestrial civilizations, the great filter concept is introduced that some underline process that acting as a filter to reduce observed extraterrestrial civilizations. The great view concept suggest that it is very hard for intelligence life to rise or lifetime of intelligence civilization is relatively short.

In Dr. Drake's view, the number of communicating civilizations in our galaxy is reduced to seven smaller issues with his equation.

The Drakes Equation is as follows:

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

where: N is the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible; and

R* is the average rate of star formation per year in our galaxy
fp is the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne is the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
f? is the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point
fi is the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
fc is the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L is the length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

The possible estimated drakes equation calculated value is even with considerable disagreement with scientific community computed in 1961 is:

  • R* = 10/year (10 stars formed per year, on the average over the life of the galaxy)
  • fp = 0.5 (half of all stars formed will have planets)
  • ne = 2 (stars with planets will have 2 planets capable of supporting life)
  • fl = 1 (100% of these planets will develop life)
  • fi = 0.01 (1% of which will be intelligent life)
  • fc = 0.01 (1% of which will be able to communicate)
  • L = 10,000 years (which will last 10,000 years).

Drake's values give N = 10 × 0.5 × 2 × 1 × 0.01 × 0.01 × 10,000 = 10 published in 1961. Current astronomical observations gave values to Drakes equation as follow:

R* = 7/year, fp = 0.5, ne = 2, fl = 0.33, fi = 0.01, fc = 0.01, and L = 10000 years.

N = 7 × 0.5 × 2 × 0.33 × 0.01 × 0.01 × 10000 = 2.31. As 2 civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible for us human beings according to Dr. Drakes equation.

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