VIDEO: Exploring futuristic civilizations' possibilities - Examining the Kardashev Scale

10/26/2016 - 01:42

Isaac Arthur

An in-depth look at the Kardashev Scale, a system of classifying advanced civilizations. We will talk about what it is, and what some of the capabilities of such civilizations would be. This version contains the full musical score by Martin Rezny, a narration only version can be listened to here.

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Music by Martin Rezny

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Ref: Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations. Soviet Astronomy (12 December 1963) | Nikolai Kardashev - English Translated Paper


The protracted duration of signal propagation is a determining factor in the one-way transmission of information through space. Reliable reception, or any reception at all, of signals by unknown subscribers necessarily requires an isotropic emission. The optimum signal spectrum for transmitting the maximum amount of information in the presence of quantum noise and the background of cosmic radio-frequency emission has been calculated. It is shown that a civilization located at any distance in the universe and in possession of power on the order of LΘ ≈ 4 × 1033 erg/sec or more, which it is capable of transmitting in a coded isotropic radio-frequency signal, may be detected by conventional radio astronomical techniques. The expected distinguishing properties of artificial sources of cosmic radio-frequency emission are enumerated. It is speculated that even some sources known to us today (notably CTA-21 and CTA-102) may be artificial radio sources.