8.21.2012

You Can Fiddle With the Drake Equation


By on 2:10 PM

The Drake Equation is a mathematical equation that tries to answer the question about whether or not there are intelligent alien civilizations out in the galaxy and, if so, how many of those civilizations there might be.

The whole thing reads like this:

N = R^{\ast} \cdot f_p \cdot n_e \cdot f_{\ell} \cdot f_i \cdot f_c \cdot L

and all of those variables are pretty fun to play around with since, like most weird scientific equations, they actually stand for things that make sense. Like the rate of star formation (R*), average number of potentially life-supporting planets per star (n sub e), and how long these improbable civilizations might release detectable signals (L). All of this comes together to give N, a hypothetical number of alien civilizations in the Milky Way.

This is entirely theoretical -- we have yet to find even one alien, let alone an alien civilization -- but the chance is always out there, especially mathematically so.

And, with all the Curiosity-generated interest in aliens at the moment, BBC created a fairly fun infographical calculator that people can play with to generate different answers to the Drake Equation with.

So you don't have to do all that multiplication, I suppose.

But it's great for imagining scenarios (there's even a skeptical analysis of the day up there), and you can plug in optimistic scenarios, pessimistic scenarios, and just fiddle with it. Though, at least at first glance, there doesn't really seem to be too many ways to drop the number of potential alien civilizations in the universe below 15,000. Which is kind of awesome.

All in all, it's a great way to spend time ignoring work.

Please recommend this post on StumbleUpon – all it takes is a click!

Rachel is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and spends her time writing, studying, and reading what would probably be considered far too many books. Connect with her and Rusty on Twitter and Facebook, and click here to read more of her articles about alien theories and how to survive alien invasion novels.

About Syed Faizan Ali

Faizan is a 17 year old young guy who is blessed with the art of Blogging,He love to Blog day in and day out,He is a Website Designer and a Certified Graphics Designer.

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