Astronomy

Fermi Paradox

Fermi paradox is an argument that a probability of life exists in the universe other than the earth. This is a paradox, so there is no proof for this statement. This was proposed by a physicist named Enrico Fermi in 1950. He believed that they were intelligent and extraterrestrial lives.

Introduction to Fermi Paradox

fermi paradox

The Fermi paradox is a theory that states aliens may have visited the earth ages back or might send detectable signals of their existence to the earth. Enrico Fermi was the Italian physicist who raised a few questions supporting the paradox.

  • The milky way galaxy is home to billions of stars that are similar or even larger than the Sun.
  • There may be many planets like the earth that began civilization even before humans in these star systems.
  • There is a high probability that these systems are older than the sun. So they can be part of an intelligent life that may have progressed in interstellar travel.
  • There is a possibility that these planets may have visited the earth or sent probes as they are an extraterrestrial civilization.
  • Given that, there is no evidence of any event like that had occurred until today.

This can take millions of years but, Fermi paradox explains that in galaxy age this is a short period. It will be equal to thousands of millions of years to colonize the galaxy. High-end technologies give a promising prediction that there is the capability for colonization. So there is a possibility that at some point in time, the complete star system will be under the same kingdom.

Understanding Abiogenesis

This is another concept that is being parallel studied besides Fermi Paradox. Further, the correct scientific definition given to Abiogenesis is that it is the process of turning a non-living matter into a living one.

The entire process of change is a natural happening with the help of organic compounds and the chemical reactions that occur within them. Abiogenesis has been an active chapter in Geochemistry, Astro-biology, Oceanography and even Paleontology.

The Drake Equation 

The Drake equation is a probable way to estimate the number of active extraterrestrial civilizations in the entire galaxy. This gives an approximation rather than a precise number. Moreover, this equation was first derived and presented in the year 1961 by Sir Frank Drake.

The formula states that:

Supposedly, in theory, N is the number of extraterrestrial civilizations with which communication is possible in the galaxy. While R* is the average rate for the formation of stars in the galaxy and L is the length of the period until which these detectable signs are sent by civilizations into space

Hence based on this three projectile, it was considered that,

(fp) is the fraction of stars that contain planets and (ne) is the average number of planets which support any form of life. (fl) is the fraction of planets that developed life at some point in time. (fc) is the fraction of planets that have technological advancements to send probes for detecting their existence

These are the variables in the Drake equation which together results as –

 fermi paradox

Possible Solutions for Fermi Paradox

Over the decades, there is plenty of research in the Search for Extraterrestrial Institute (SETI).

Here are the solutions:

Either the planets do not have suitable conditions to start a civilization or advanced civilizations start and get destroyed within a short period. Based on Fermi paradox :

  1. Extraterrestrial lives exist
  2. They have not communicated with humans
  3. They do not exist
  4. Life on those planets can be rare
  5. There are no planets that support life

FAQ on Fermi Paradox

Question 1: According to Fermi Paradox, how many planets are livable currently like Earth?

Answer 1: As of now there has been concrete evidence supporting the theory that over 24 planets are habitable or have shown signs of life. Further, the existence of living being in other planets, aliens or humans have been supported with multiple supportive theories and equations.

Question 2: What is the purpose of Drake’s Equation?

Answer 2: The main reason Drake’s equation has been an important aspect of Theoretical Astrophysics is that it can estimate the approximate number of communicable civilization across the universe. Moreover, it is the main mathematical analysis one needs to detect the presence of intelligence in the outer cosmos.

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