Fermi Paradox

What is Fermi paradox?

Fermi paradox can be called as an argument between the scale and probability of intelligent life that existed anywhere in the universe other than the earth. There is no evidence to prove that it existed anywhere else. It was first studied by the physicist Enrico Fermi who studied the existence of extraterrestrial civilisation. He had mainly questioned the following points:

  • There are billions of stars just like Sun which are billion years older than the solar system
  • There are planets similar to earth, which may have developed intelligent life.
  • These intelligent lives might have developed interstellar travels.


Concept known as Great Filter was studied which spoke about the prevention of dead matter from lasting life. The process which gives life to non-living matter is known as abiogenesis. It is also known as the origin of life. As it is a natural process, simple organic compounds are the apt example for abiogenesis. In order to determine the chemical reactions involved in pre-life, researchers need to study different subjects like biophysics, molecular biology, astrobiology, biochemistry, geochemistry, astrobiology, oceanography and paleontology. These studies led to a new term called biopoiesis which is explained in three stages:

  • Monomers originating biologically
  • Polymers originating biologically
  • Evolution of cells from molecules

These three stages are like the model designed in different ways by different scientists giving the same meaning to the origin of life.

Drake Equation

Drake equation and Fermi paradox are related as the equation was formulated to examine the existence of alien life in a systematic way. The equation is as follows:

\(\large N=R_{*}*f_{p}*n_{e}*f_{1}*f_{c}*f_{i}*L\)


    R*: the rate of star formation in Milky way galaxy

    fp: fraction of stars that have planets

    ne: average no.of planets that can support life per star that has planet

    f1: fraction of stars that supports life which develops further

    fi: fraction of life developed into intelligent life

    fc: fraction of civilisation that releases signals for their existence

    L: time length for releasing such signals

There are many more interesting concepts like the origin of life and others available with video classes in BYJU’S

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Practise This Question

A cylinder of mass 5 kg and radius 4 m is rolling purely on a horizontal surface. What will be the angular momentum of the cylinder with respect to any point on the ground if its centre of mass moves with the velocity of 20 m/s?