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Thread: Maybe ET's Calling, But We Have the Wrong Phone

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    Maybe ET's Calling, But We Have the Wrong Phone

    To date, SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) has focused on ETs who 'phone home' using the radio part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and even a very small region within that. But what if ET's phone doesn't use radio waves? Sure the xkcd comic, is funny, but maybe it points to a deep flaw in our [...]


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    I think that looking at radio (or various other electromagnetic wavelengths) is motivated by the same logic as the joke about the man looking for his lost car keys near a street light. Everyplace else was too dark to see them anyway, so why look there?

    If the ets are communicating with, say, modulated beams of neutrinos, or by passing Kuiper Belt Objects back and forth, we've got really no way of detecting their signals.
    Information about American English usage here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

    How do things fly? This explains it all.

    Actually they can't: "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." - Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Metrowest, Boston
    Yep. It's tricky communicating. The military learned to digitize their info, switch frequencies rapidly, compress data and uncompress it at the other end, identify Friend or Foe, changes codes frequently, and scramble their syntax.....all of which led to the telecom world of today. Of course radio signals weaken in travel even with large antennae, it becomes signal/noise ratio. So we should use more energetic photons....and send our inquiries in gamma ray bursts???

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