Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: SETI Past, Present, and Future

Springer Science & Business Media
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This book is a collection of essays written by the very scientists and engineers who have led, and continue to lead, the scientific quest known as SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Divided into three parts, the first section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Past’, written by the surviving pioneers of this then emerging discipline, reviews the major projects undertaken during the first 50 years of SETI science and the results of that research.

In the second section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Present’, the present-day science and technology is discussed in detail, providing the technical background to contemporary SETI instruments, experiments, and analytical techniques, including the processing of the received signals to extract potential alien communications.

In the third and final section, ‘The Spirit of SETI Future’, the book looks ahead to the possible directions that SETI will take in the next 50 years, addressing such important topics as interstellar message construction, the risks and assumptions of interstellar communications, when we might make contact, what aliens might look like and what is likely to happen in the aftermath of such a contact.

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About the author

Dr. H. Paul Shuch is Executive Director Emeritus of the SETI League, an international educational and scientific non-profit corporation involved in and promoting all aspects of SETI research. He designed and served as principal investigator for the Project Argus all-sky survey, he is Principal Investigator for the Invitation to ETI initiative and he is best known for having developed and produced the world’s first commercial home satellite TV receiver.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Feb 14, 2011
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Pages
542
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ISBN
9783642131967
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Language
English
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Genres
Body, Mind & Spirit / UFOs & Extraterrestrials
Science / Astronomy
Science / Physics / Astrophysics
Technology & Engineering / Electronics / General
Technology & Engineering / Imaging Systems
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Addresses the important question of what is life, and discusses the origins and evolution of life on Earth, as well as its probable fate Looks at places within our Solar System, beyond Earth, especially where life might exist, such as Mars and Europa Includes the very latest data on searches for planets around other stars, the results of these searches, and discusses what conditions might be like Speculates on possible life elsewhere in the Universe beyond our Solar system, and assesses our chances of making contact, if there is intelligent life out there Includes end of chapter summaries to help the reader grasp the main concepts to carry forward Provides a list of resources, including useful websites at the end of the book which will enable the reader to keep up to date in this rapidly moving field
In April 2010, fifty years to the month after the first experiment in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), scholars from a range of disciplines—including astronomy, mathematics, anthropology, history, and cognitive science—gathered at NASA’s biennial Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon) for a series of sessions on the search for intelligent life. This book highlights the most recent developments in SETI discussed at that conference, emphasizing the ways that SETI has grown since its inception. The volume covers three broad themes: First, leading researchers examine the latest developments in observational SETI programs, as well as innovative proposals for new search strategies and novel approaches to signal processing. Second, both proponents and opponents of “Active SETI” debate whether humankind should be transmitting intentional signals to other possible civilizations, rather than only listening. Third, constructive proposals for interstellar messages are juxtaposed with critiques that ask whether any meaningful exchange is possible with an independently evolved civilization, given the constraints of contact at interstellar distances, where a round-trip exchange could take centuries or millennia.

As we reflect on a half-century of SETI research, we are reminded of the expansion of search programs made possible by technological and conceptual advances. In this spirit of ongoing exploration, the contributors to this book advocate a diverse range of approaches to make SETI increasingly more powerful and effective, as we embark on the next half-century of searching for intelligence beyond Earth.
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