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Detectability of Extraterrestrial Technological Activities


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Author Topic: Detectability of Extraterrestrial Technological Activities  (Read 669 times)
Jennifer Murdoch
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« on: February 04, 2010, 01:17:29 pm »

    This paper  was  originally  presented  at the  Second  United
           Nations/European Space Agency Workshop on Basic Space Science

             Co-organized by The Planetary Society in cooperation with
          the Governments of Costa Rica and Colombia, 2-13 November 1992,
                      San Jose, Costa Rica - Bogota, Colombia

       Introduction

       If we want  to  find  evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial
       civilizations (ETC), we must work  out an observational strategy for
       detecting this evidence  in order to establish the various  physical
       quantities in which it involves.  This information must be carefully
       analyzed so that  it  is neither over-interpreted nor overlooked and
       can be checked by independent researchers.

                                      Page 1





       The physical laws  that govern the Universe are the same everywhere,
       so we can use our knowledge of these  laws  to  search  for evidence
       that would finally   lead   us   to   an  ETC.   In   general,   the
       experimentalist studies a   system   by   imposing  constraints  and
       observing the system's response to a controlled stimulus.

       The variety of these constraints  and  stimuli  may  be  extended at
       will, and experiments  can  become  arbitrarily  complex.    In  the
       problem of the  Search  for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), as
       well as in conventional astronomy,  the  mean  distances are so huge
       that the "researcher" can only observe what is received.   He or she
       is entirely dependent  on  the carriers of information that transmit
       to him or her all he or she may learn about the Universe.
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