In 1961 Frank Drake came up with an equation the estimates the number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy. See here. An interesting book entitled Intelligent Life in the Universe by by by I. S. Shklovskii and Carl Sagan was subsequently written. Consequently the interest in this topic resulted in the well known SETI project. The following definition of the Drake equation is obtained from the above Wiki site.
The Drake equation is:
- N = the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which radio-communication might be possible (i.e. which are on our current past light cone);
- R* = the average rate of star formation in our galaxy
- fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
- ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
- fl = the fraction of planets that could support life that actually develop life at some point
- fi = the fraction of planets with life that actually go on to develop intelligent life (civilizations)
- fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
- L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space
- Your job is to create a function called Drake(fl , fi , fc, L) that will return its value. The first three parameter of this function are to be defined (hard coded) inside the functions. According to the latest estimates let R* = 7 , fp = 1 and ne = .4.
- Test your function with the following main program.
- print ” With low values :”,Drake(.13,.1,.2,420)
- print “With medium values :”,Drake(.13, .5, .6,420)
- print “With high values :”,Drake(.13,.9,.8,420)