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SHOCKINGLY CLOSE TO THE TRUTH. EQUATIONS . Extraterrestrial Life, the Population Explosion, and Other Surprises From the Physics of Complex Systems. Weldon J. Wilson Department of Physics University of Central Oklahoma wwilson@uco.edu. OUTLINE. Complex Systems Methods

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slide1

SHOCKINGLY

CLOSE TO

THE TRUTH

EQUATIONS

Extraterrestrial Life, the Population Explosion,and Other Surprises From the Physics of Complex Systems

Weldon J. Wilson

Department of Physics

University of Central Oklahomawwilson@uco.edu

outline
OUTLINE
  • Complex Systems
  • Methods
      • Don’t Ignore the Obvious (Try not to be Stupid)
      • Scale Analysis (Look at Units)
      • Power-Law Behavior (Make Log Plots)
  • Applications
      • Life in the Universe
      • Thinking Computers
      • Extinction Event Asteroids
      • Population Explosion
  • Conclusions

PHYSICS LECTURES

bacteria 10 billion molecules

Complexity

~109 Interacting Particles

A Boeing 777 has 150,000 different components and a total of 30 million subcomponents, some with millions of subparts.

Bacteria ~10 Billion molecules
for complex systems
For Complex Systems
  • Nonlinear Interactions Key
  • Collective Effects Appear
  • The Whole = Sum of Parts

Need Simple Methods

since 1947 we ve had 33 u s saucer crashes 1 every 2 years
Since 1947 We’ve had 33 U.S. Saucer Crashes!(~1 Every 2 years)
  • 04-Jul-47 Roswell, NEW MEXICO (4 Bodies)
  • 13-Feb-48 Aztec, NEW MEXICO (2 Bodies)
  • 07-Jul-48 MEXICO So.of LAREDO TX (1 Body)
  • 08-Aug-49 Roswell, NEW MEXICO(2 Bodies)
  • 10-Sep-50 Albuquerque, NEW MEXICO (3 Bodies)
  • 14-Aug-52 Ely, NEVADA (16 Bodies)
  • ….
since 1965 we ve had 13 boeing 700 series u s airline crashes 1 every 3 years
Since 1965 We’ve Had 13 Boeing 700 SeriesU.S. Airline Crashes (~1 Every 3 Years)
  • Boeing (1 per 3 years) vs ET (1 per 2 years)
  • Don’t Get on Flying Saucer (They’re Death Traps)
  • Boeing has sold over 13,000 B-777’s alone.
  • Earth is the OHare International Airport of the Galaxy
slide8

Don’t Overlook the Obvious!

FACT A: THERE ARE NO OBVIOUS EXTRATERRESTRIALS ON EARTH NOW AND THERE IS NO OBVIOUS EVIDENCE THERE HAVE BEEN ANY IN THE PAST.

when to buy your next computer
When To Buy Your Next Computer?

Or . . .

When Computers Become Sentient?

slide13

You are

here

There are 400 Billion Stars in our Galaxy. How many harbor life?

slide14

Where is Everybody?

The Players

  • Enrico Fermi
  • Edward Teller
  • Herbert York
  • Emil Konopinski

Edward Teller

LANL Tech Area

Enrico Fermi

LANL Fuller Lodge Cafeteria

the drake equation fermi
The Drake Equation (Fermi)

N = Ng * fp * nL * fL * fI * fTC * fTL

  • N = Number of Tech Civilizations in the Galaxy
  • Ng = # stars in Galaxy (4 x 1011)
  • fp= fraction of stars having planets (1.00)
  • nL = fraction of planets suitable for life (0.01)
  • fL= fraction of suitable planets where life arises (0.01)
  • fI= fraction of worlds with life on which intelligent life arises (0.1)
  • fTC = fraction with intelligent life where a technical civilization arises (0.01)
  • fTL = fraction of a planetary lifetime average technical civilization exists (0.01)
the drake equation
The Drake Equation

N = Ng * fp * nL * fL * fI * fTC * fTL

Putting all this together we find ...

N = (400 x 109) * (1.0) * (0.01) * (0.01) * (0.1) * (0.01) * (0.01)

= 400 !!!

Estimates range from 1 (us) to 400 million.

slide17

Space Shuttle

Automobile

Horse

Train

Plane

Maximum Speed Achieved

speed to colonize space

Assume ~100,000 years to go out 20 parsecs

Time to Go 20 parsecs (66 ly)  660 years

Time to Go to Nearest Star (4.3 ly)  43 years

Time to Colonize Star  5000 years

SPEED TO COLONIZE SPACE ?

Current Technology

  • Estimated capability  0.1 c
time to colonize galaxy

Assuming 100,000 years per 20 parsec hop

TIME TO COLONIZE GALAXY?

Total Time to Cover Galaxy = 1500 x 100,000 yrs = 150 million years !

30,000 parsecs

Distance per hop = 20 parsecs

# of hops = (Total Dist)/(Dist per Hop) = (30,000 parsecs )/(20 parsecs) = 1500 hops

fermi paradox

DrakeEquation

Time To CoverGalaxy

400 ET Civilizations

150 Million Years

Fermi Paradox

Our Galaxy is 12 to 20 billion years old so ...

Where Is Everybody?

where is everybody
Where is Everybody?
  • We are the first!
  • Life is extremely rare in the universe
  • Cosmic Catastrophes kill off Technological Societies
  • Technological Societies self-destruct rapidly
  • We are a protected site (Zoo/Prime Directive)
  • Others are so far advanced as to ignore us
there s more
THERE’S MORE

But wait!

Expensive searches for ET life are a waste of time and money - if they are there, they would have been here by now.

We are the only technological civilization in our Galaxy (or at least the first to arise) and in the long run (~150 million years) will occupy every habitable planet in the Galaxy.

slide23

Extinction Event Asteroid Imact

How often?

Every 100 million years

slide24

Shooting Stars (1 mm)

Meteorites (1 m)

Arizona Crater (100 m)

Ontario Crater (10 km)

Meteor Impact Frequency

-6

10

Power Law

-3

10

1

Not Gaussian !!

Frequency (1/yr)

-3

10

-6

10

-9

10

-4

4

8

12

10

10

10

10

1

Diameter (m)

slide25

Log-Log plot of Gaussian (Normal) Distribution

0

10

-2

10

-4

10

-6

10

-8

10

-10

10

-2

-1

0

1

2

10

10

10

10

10

why power laws are so interesting
Why Power Laws Are So Interesting?
  • They are “surprising.”
    • Central limit theorem suggests we should see mostly normal distributions?
  • They suggest “criticality,” a major source of “complexity” in physics.
  • They are ubiquitous.
    • Link physics, biology, and engineering.
  • They imply large (anomalous) events are more likely than previously thought.
slide34

This

or

This

conclusions
Conclusions
  • ET probably doesn’t exist but if he does, don’t ride with him (it?)
  • By 2020 computers will be smarter than we are
  • Power-Laws Rule (For Complex Systems)
  • By 2030 we will know if humans will inherit the Universe or will be making room for someone else
  • And the Internet/Distance Learning may be replaced by . . .