The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Research paper by Frank F Drake

Indexed on: 12 Jan '11Published on: 12 Jan '11Published in: Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences


Modern history of the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence is reviewed. The history of radio searches is discussed, as well as the major advances that have occurred in radio searches and prospects for new instruments and search strategies. Recent recognition that searches for optical and infrared signals make sense, and the reasons for this are described, as well as the equipment and special detection methods used in optical searches. The long-range future of the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI) is discussed in the context of the history of rapid change, on the cosmic and even the human time scale, of the paradigms guiding SETI searches. This suggests that SETI searches be conducted with a very open mind.