FERMI'S QUESTION
WHERE ARE THEY?

As the story goes, at lunch one day in 1950, physicist Enrico Fermi and colleagues were discussing the possibilities for life in the universe. It was noted that the chances for the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations are very high. Our understanding of the origin of life on Earth, and the chemistry of life, and the abundance of planets throughout the galaxy, and the abundance of time itself dictates a near certainty of not just another, but a huge number of other technological civilizations. Given a "technological" lifetime of merely a few hundred thousand years any one of these groups should have diffused through the entire galaxy. Considering also that we have at least a billion year window for such a scenario one can imagine the stunning silence which must have greeted Fermi when he is said to have asked "Where are they?"
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The big question is "is there really a universal speed limit?" How can this be? So light speed is limited Ö but why should that limit apply to everything else? Is there some way to circumvent this speed limit? Later we will show why we can trust the speed limit. We will demonstrate why FTL, faster-than-light, messaging canít happen, untenable paradoxes result. Then we will look at a line of reasoning that maybe, just maybe, just as most rules that canít be broken but have exceptions, so does the c limit. -------- Maybe.
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