KEY POINTS

  • Physicist Alexander Berezin presented a theory regarding the search of alien life
  • Berezin believes his theory could answer the Fermi paradox
  • Berezin theorized that achieving interstellar travel could destroy other alien civilizations

A physicist presented a bleak theory as to why humans have not yet encountered signs of intelligent alien life in space. For the physicist, his theory serves as a possible solution to the Fermi paradox.

The Fermi paradox, named after Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi, is a concept that presents an anomaly or contradiction regarding the lack of evidence pointing to the existence of aliens. Despite the countless stars within and outside the Milky Way galaxy, humans have not yet encountered an advanced extraterrestrial civilization.

According to Alexander Berezin, a theoretical physicist from the National Research University of Electronic Technology in Russia, the only way humans will be able to see intelligent alien life is if they develop the capability to reach a certain physical threshold that’s close enough to observe extraterrestrials.

“The only variable we can objectively measure is the probability of life becoming detectable from outer space within a certain range from Earth,” Berezin stated in his study, which has been submitted for review and publication through ArXiv.org.

This threshold, which Berezin refers to as parameter A, can only be reached once humans develop the technology and means to achieve interstellar travel. However, Berezin theorized that the first civilization in space that would achieve interstellar travel would most likely destroy all other races.

Berezin noted that the destruction would not be deliberate. Instead, it would most likely be the result of the actions needed in order to improve the capabilities needed for interstellar travel. He compared it to how construction workers would accidentally destroy an anthill as they carry out their work.

“They simply won't notice, the same way a construction crew demolishes an anthill to build real estate because they lack incentive to protect it,” he stated.

As a solution to the Fermi paradox, Berezin’s theory suggests that since no civilization in the universe has achieved interstellar travel yet, none of them have been able to observe each other by reaching parameter A.

Unfortunately, once a civilization develops interstellar travel, it might unknowingly destroy the other alien races in the universe. This means that even if a civilization is already capable of reaching parameter A, it still won’t encounter intelligent alien life.

Exoplanet GJ180 Picture: Artist's illustration of "super Earth" GJ180 in orbit around a nearby red dwarf. Photo: Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institution of Science