Statistical Equation for Habitable (SEH) and the Statistical Fermi Paradox


Wednesday, November 10 2010 - 12:00 pm, PST
Claudio Maccone

In this lecture Dr. Maccone will provide a statistical equation that we call Statistical Equation for Habitables (SEH) as well as its relationship to the Statistical Fermi Paradox. He will start by noting that the statistics of habitable planets may be based on a set of ten (and possibly more) astrobiological requirements first pointed out by Stephen H. Dole in his book “Habitable planets for man” (1964). He will then provide the statistical generalization of the original (too simplistic) Dole equation by replacing a product of ten positive numbers by the product of ten positive random variables. This is called the “Statistical Equation for Habitables” or SEH. His proof is based on the Central Limit Theorem (CLT) of Statistics, stating that the sum of any number of independent random variables, each of which may be arbitrarily distributed, approaches a Gaussian (i.e. normal) random variable (Lyapunov form of the CLT). Dr. Maccone will then discuss the implications of this derivation, including a practical example of how the equation can be used to find the average distance between Habitables. Finally, this result will in turn be used to discover the statistical extension of the Fermi Paradox, namely the Fermi paradox re-read in terms of probability distributions.

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