Stephen Webb: Are We Alone in the Universe? The Fermi Paradox and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Leibniz Campus Lecture am 21.11.2019, 18 Uhr im Hugo-Kulka-Hörsaal

Der Vortrag wird in englischer Sprache gehalten. | The lecture will be held in English.

Our Galaxy contains hundreds of billions of stars and the Universe contains hundreds of billions of galaxies. So if we grant that there is nothing special about our home planet then it is hard not to conclude that life - and presumably intelligent life - exists elsewhere. But if we also grant that there is nothing special about humanity's arc of technological progress then it is hard not to conclude that, at some stage in the 13.8-billion-year history of the cosmos, an extraterrestrial civilisation should have disturbed the universe in a way that we could now detect. They should have left evidence of their existence - messages; artefacts; signatures of their technology. And yet the universe appears silent and empty. This contradiction between expectation and observation often goes by the name of the Fermi paradox, and in this talk I discuss a few of the many resolutions that have been proposed. I would be delighted if audience members were prepared to share their own resolution of the paradox!

STEPHEN WEBB

Stephen Webb graduated with first-class honours in Physics from the University of Bristol and received his PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Manchester. He was elected a Member of the Institute of Physics in 1989 and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2013. Stephen is the author of an undergraduate textbook on distance determination in astronomy as well as several general and popular science books, including the award-winning "Where is Everybody?" (Copernicus, 2002; second edition 2015). He serves on the international editorial board of Springer's "Science & Fiction" book series, and is advising on the nascent "Science & Art" series. His 2018 TED Talk "Where are all the aliens?" has been viewed 4.7 million times.

Stephen Webb Stephen Webb Stephen Webb
Stephen Webb

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Die Veranstaltung beginnt um 18.00 Uhr (Einlass ab 17.30 Uhr) im Hugo-Kulka-Hörsaal (Hörsaal E 001) des Hauptgebäudes, Welfengarten 1.

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Welfengarten 1
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