Adventures in Numerical SETI
The search for life has now become a mainstream scientific discipline, thanks primarily to the development of appropriate theoretical and experimental tools that could properly address the science questions related to the search. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is now poised to make the same transition to the mainstream.
Advances in astronomical instrumentation give SETI scientists the experimental tools to conduct wide and deep surveys of the Milky Way for indications of intelligence with very little added cost in “piggyback" mode. While the field is dominated by searches at radio frequencies, SETI scientists have expanded into other bands. SETI theorists have assisted this expansion by adding to the list of technomarkers, signatures of technological construction or otherwise intelligent activity.
I will present some of my work in identifying technomarkers that should be detectable using current data from extrasolar planet detection missions, as well as my attempts to improve constraints on the frequency and distribution of detectable signals from intelligent life, both in the form of electromagnetic radiation and autonomous probes.
The astrobiology seminar series is run by the UK Centre for Astrobiology based in the School of Physics & Astronomy. Astrobiology is a multi-disciplinary subject and the seminar series actively encourages attendance by undergraduates, postgraduates and academic staff from other departments..