How do you derive Drake's Equation? #N=R*f_p*n_e*f_1*f_i*f_c*L#

Also, how do you calculate the factors?

Also, how do you calculate the factors?

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Jack L. Share
Feb 6, 2018


Around 10,000 to 100,000,000 civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy


#N# = The number of civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable.

#R#=The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life. (2 - 3 per year)

#fp# = The fraction of those stars with planetary systems. (Near 1)

#n e# = the number of planets, per star system, with an environment suitable for life. (0.5)

#fl# =The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears. (0.2)

#fi# = The fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges. (0.2)

#fc# = The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space. (0.2)

#L# = The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space. (30,000 - 1,000 years)

All of these values vary greatly, optimistic estimates is about 100,000,000 civilizations, more pessimistic estimates give us around 1,000. But a more general estimate is about 100,000.

Edit: Drake came up with the equation by considering the factors that are required in order to detect extraterrestrial life.

"As I planned the meeting, I realized a few day[s] ahead of time we needed an agenda. And so I wrote down all the things you needed to know to predict how hard it's going to be to detect extraterrestrial life. And looking at them it became pretty evident that if you multiplied all these together, you got a number, N, which is the number of detectable civilizations in our galaxy. This was aimed at the radio search, and not to search for primordial or primitive life forms." —Frank Drake.

Source: Wikipedia, the Drake Equation

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