Density dependence considerations for SETI signals

February 02, 2009

This paper develops a detailed quantitative model which uses the Drake equation and an assumption of an average maximum radio broadcasting distance by an communicative civilization to derive a minimum civilization density for contact between two civilizations to be probable in a given volume of space under certain conditions, the amount of time it would take for a first contact, and whether reciprocal contact is possible. Results show that under certain assumptions, a galaxy can be teeming with civilizations yet not have a guarantee of communication between any of them given either short lifetimes or small maximum distances for communication.

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