2 November 2000CfA Colloquium


Title: New Directions in the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Speaker: Frank Drake

Abstract: The basic premise behind SETI searches has recently been revisited in a major study. From this has come the recognition that, although searches for radio signals are still the most promising approach to SETI, searches for optical signals show substantial promise also. From this has grown a number of serious optical searches. With regard to radio searches, the latest development in our own civilization, the information age, suggests that single powerful signals may be less common than once thought, and that realistic radio SETI searches must be prepared to examine very large numbers of stars, and to examine these stars many times, since detectable signals may be transient. To this end, a major development, the Allen Array Telescope, is now funded and underway. A longer time goal of a very comprehensive SETI search system awaits further improvements in computer technology.

Reference for students: to come

Lunch with the grad students will be on Thursday November 2nd at 12:30 in A-101.