Frank Drake was born May 28, 1930 in Chicago.
The American astronomer was educated at Cornell University. After high school he spent three years in the Navy to pay his studies. He graduated from Harvard University in astronomy section. Initiator of the SETI project, he created a famous equation, the Drake Equation.
Drake is convinced of the existence of extraterrestrial life. He works at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which will allow him to listen to the cosmos.
In April 1960 he created the project Ozma, Project Cyclops in 1971, in 1994 SETI, Project Phoenix in 1995 and 2004 SERENDIP.
In 1961, Frank Drake created his famous equation, which is supposed to give the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in the Universe. Drake is professor emeritus of astronomy at the University of California at Santa Cruz and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The planetarium Cincinnati bears his name.
Drake began his career in radio astronomical research at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, West Virginia and later at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
He made measurements that revealed the presence of an ionosphere and magnetosphere of Jupiter. Drake is also involved in early work on pulsars.
In 1974, it is he who is the senior editor of the famous Arecibo message.
This message was sent in the direction of the globular cluster M31, located 21 000 light years from the Sun.
In 1959, radio astronomer Frank Drake the young reached the same conclusions and about the same time as Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison.
If advanced extraterrestrial civilizations exist in the Galaxy probably they communicate with each other using radio waves. It determines the most suitable band radio to communicate with an extraterrestrial civilization is that of hydrogen is roughly the wavelength of 21 cm. Working at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the Green Bank radio telescope, it is perfectly placed to hear of any interstellar communications in this band called "water hole" (in English waterhole).
This frequency band extends from about 1.4 GHz (frequency of the hydrogen H whose wavelength is 21 cm) to just over 1.6 GHz (frequency of the hydroxyl OH) H2O water constituents.
Image: Frank Drake is the senior editor of the famous Arecibo message. He is involved in "The Carl Sagan Center" for the study of life in the universe.
We now know that exoplanets are common in the Galaxy. Frank Drake is convinced that somewhere in the universe, a form of intelligent life ahead.
Thanks to Frank Drake's equation (see opposite), a question that seemed insoluble due to its size, was divided into a series of small questions that scientists could provide clear answers.
But only the number of stars in our Galaxy is approximately known, about 200 billion.
Recent discoveries of extrasolar planets, we can also estimate the parameter fp.
The number of discovered planetary systems is not sufficient to accurately calculate the percentage of stars around which planets.
Things get complicated particularly with biological parameters. Have not yet solved the riddle of the origin of life on Earth, we are unable to estimate the likelihood of life on a planet conducive to the outbreak.
But astronomers are optimistic about the extent of the habitable zone.
The last parameters are the most problematic. If the probability of occurrence of primitive cells on a given planet can be very high, there is no indication that these cells will lead, after several billion years of evolution, the emergence of intelligent beings.
The emergence of intelligence is perhaps a gamble. In addition, intelligent life forms do not necessarily develop a mastery of technology.
The lifetime of a technologically advanced civilization is also not known. According to some scientists, the Drake Equation is simply the concentration of a large amount of uncertainty in a small space.
It is not surprising to learn that the estimates of the parameter N ranges from 1 million to one, our own civilization.
Simplifying so bold, we get an interesting result, where N is equal to T. The resolution of the equation comes down to knowing the life of an intelligent and technologically advanced civilization in the universe. It must be admitted that the communication window is very narrow.
The probability that a technologically advanced form of life could develop elsewhere in the universe is believed would be much lower initially.
The factors that actually develop life are numerous when one considers all the parameters, the presence of chemical elements structuring life to the presence of a giant planet Jupiter to draw such asteroids.
It takes the life time and stability to form.
It could also be because even these factors together, the likelihood that chemical elements combine to form living matter are so low that this event has occurred once in the history of the universe.
No matter how much is low, the probability that a given galaxy has intelligent life, the galaxy in which we find at least one intelligent species by definition.
There could be thousands of galaxies that have this feature, intelligent life, but obviously we are still not in these galaxies to view.
Image: The famous Drake equation proposes to quantify the possible number of technologically advanced civilizations and can communicate with us in the Galaxy.
N = N*x fp x ne x fl x fi x fc x T
N* = Number of stars in the Galaxy.
fp = fraction of those stars with planetary procession.
ne = number of planets in the ecosphere or habitable zone (region where life may appear around a star).
fl = fraction of those planets where life appeared.
fi = fraction of these life forms that have acquired intelligence and developed a civilization.
fc = fraction of civilizations that have developed a technology and trying to communicate.
T = life of those civilizations.