Thursday, January 18, 2007

Fermi Paradox Answer?

This paper investigates the possible use of space probes to explore the Milky Way, as a means both of finding life elsewhere in the Galaxy and as finding an answer to the Fermi paradox. I simulate exploration of the Galaxy by first examining how long time it takes a given number of space probes to explore 40,000 stars in a box from -300 to 300 pc above the Galactic thin disk, as a function of Galactic radius. I then model the Galaxy to consist of ~260,000 of these 40,000 stellar systems all located in a defined Galactic Habitable Zone and show how long time it takes to explore this zone. The result is that with 8 probes, each with 8 subprobes ~4% of the Galaxy can be explored in 9.57*10^{9} years. Increasing the number of probes to 200, still with 8 subprobes each, reduces the exploration time to 4*10^{8} years.

The abstract comes from here.

Not sure I buy it. It also assumes that there's no von Neumann machines obviously.

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