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"Q" waves





A whimsical term coined in the early 1960s by Philip Morrison during the scientific debate on the best method for communicating with extraterrestrial races. Morrison pointed out that the most effective way might be "Q" waves "that we're going to discover ten years from now!" His point was that, although we are presently constrained to using electromagnetic (em) communication – and, in particular, radio waves – this limitation may be lifted by future technological developments. Conceivably, the reason we have not so far detected artificial em signals from space is that the vast majority of advanced races out there are using a form of communication of which we are unaware and presently unequipped to detect. One form, for example, that such communication might take are the subspace messages – signals which travel outside of normal spacetime – familiar from the fictional universe of Star Trek.


Related entry

   • extraterrestrial intelligence, more advanced than us


Related category

   • SETI