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Fermi silence may explain the "paradox".















The Fermi paradox has been a thorn in the side of cosmologists for nearly 70 years now , since Enrico Fermi proposed the conundrum of why it is in a Galaxy of so many possible planets that we haven't heard a peep from any near by or remote civilizations. I am a proponent of a combination of reasons 8 and 11 on this list of reasons why we don't hear anything as simply being that we are one of the earliest civilizations in the ensemble of civilizations that are extant in the Galaxy and have survived sufficient extinction events to even get to the point of producing radio waves coupled with the fact that the way we communicate now is likely not how advanced civilizations communicate, let me explain...
In 100 short years we've gone from pumping Electro magnetic waves out into the space around us at very low power and thus the bulk of those signals are attenuated to *noise* threshold by the time they just get out our solar system (bye bye Voyager!)...this is important as it describes a sphere of silence beyond which any advanced civilizations that are out there would simply not be able to "hear" us.
Given that the estimated number of planets that can support our type of life numbers only a few billion across the galactic plane and that if they are distributed more or less evenly with host stars (not at all the case but let's go with it for simplicity) then the reality is that there is a volume of probability of some geometry (I am thinking it may be a conic frustrum like volume with the galactic center as it's radial center that bisects the galaxy to the plane of galactic rotation on either side:
http://sent2null.blogspot.com/2008/05/fermi-paradox-not-so-paradoxical.html

) and in that volume lie the planets that have a chance of harboring civilizations as advanced as ours.....but even within that subset of viable civilizations...of those that get to discovering radio transmission (simple modulation of EM fields) there is still the sphere of silence within which sufficient attenuation of the early EM based signals of those civilizations fall below noise....effectively making those civilizations (like ours!) invisible in the EM domain even to other advanced civilizations who may still be using EM to communicate (but that is not at all given).
One might think well what about stronger signals that can travel for longer before seeming no different from noise? I assert that just as it took us about 100 years to discover that we could possibly communicate using quantum channels (which are by definition hidden in the noise) that the answer to why we don't hear anything is even more clear....it's because I posit all sufficiently advanced civi's that have also discovered quantum communication and mastered it have gone into a mode of communication that can't be detected without knowing the specific cryptography keys for delivery of the message.

It may be that a progression to apparent silence is a natural progression of communication technologies for all advanced civilizations, a) because EM communication attenuates to noise and undetectability fairly close to a star and b) because discovery of quantum communication which is by definition undetectable without inside knowledge comes fairly quickly after discovery of EM communication.
Another possible communication strategy that looms is the use of ephemeral particles like neutrinos again modulate in extremely sensitive ways to enable much longer communication than with photons but because we are still unable to modulate neutrinos with high detection accuracy or encode much high bit data to them (it was done last year) we are silent to the possible neutrino communication that more advanced civilizations might well be using right now in our galactic neighborhood.
It may be that by simply following along the line of discovering the most efficient modes of communication that reality makes possible that silence from one another is the inevitable inheritance of all advanced civilizations that is until we (or they) develop the ability to hop across the vastness of space and directly say "hello". As this task is the far more daunting one in terms of contact with any extant civilizations it is the milestone that I think we should be most focused on after we've spread to habitable or at least workable bodies (Moon, Mars, Europa?) within our own solar system.

Links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_information_science

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2012/mar/19/neutrino-based-communication-is-a-first


Originally posted on Linkedin

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