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Proceedings Paper

Iconic approach to communicating chemical concepts to extraterrestrials
Author(s): Douglas A. Vakoch
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Paper Abstract

Previous proposals for communicating with extraterrestials have relied heavily on pictorial messages, regardless of whether communicaiton is via electromagnetic radiation or by spacecraft bearing messages. Pictorial messages can be categorized according to whether the pictures can be shown directly or whether they must first be properly formatted. Advantages of more direct representations are suggested, and the universality of pictorial representation is critiqued. An alternative to pictures based on semiotic distinctions is advanced. With this approach, iconic representations, in which the sign bears a physical similarity to that which it represents, are shown directly, rather than in a format that must be reconstructed. This method of communication is illustrated with quantum-mechanical phenomena. The advantages of using this strategy of having the content of a message reflected in the form of the message are detailed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 June 1996
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2704, The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the Optical Spectrum II, (24 June 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.243431
Show Author Affiliations
Douglas A. Vakoch, Univ. of Wisconsin Medical School (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2704:
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) in the Optical Spectrum II
Stuart A. Kingsley; Guillermo A. Lemarchand, Editor(s)

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