The Impact of the Temporal Distribution of Communicating Civilizations on their Detectability

Research paper by Amedeo Balbi

Indexed on: 24 Aug '17Published on: 24 Aug '17Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics


We use a statistical model to investigate the detectability (defined by the requirement that they are in causal contact with us) of communicating civilizations within a volume of the universe surrounding our location. If the civilizations are located in our Galaxy, the detectability requirement imposes a strict constraint on their epoch of appearance and their communicating lifespan. This, in turn, implies that the fraction of civilizations of which we can find any empirical evidence strongly depends on the specific features of their temporal distribution. Our approach shed light on aspects of the problem that can escape the standard treatment based on the Drake equation. Therefore, it might provide the appropriate framework for future studies dealing with the evolutionary aspects of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).