Let's Make Robots!


alrite so heres the deal. my physics professor showed us this paper with a bunch of symbols on it and told us that what we saw on the paper is what nasa was transmitting into space about 10-15 years ago. i cant post the picture but heres what the binary on the page translates into

2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 

23 29 31 37 41 43 47 53

79 61 67 71 73 79 83 89


the question mark in the last line is there because there is a new character introduce that isnt shown in the translation portion of the code. the binary is in 4 bit. here it is:

0010 0011 0101 0111 0001 0001 0001 0011 0001 0111 0001 1001 0010 0011 0010 1001 0011 0001 0011 0111

0100 0001 0100 0011 0100 0111 0101 0011 0111 1001 0110 0001 0110 0111 0111 0001 0111 0011 0111 1001

1000 0011 1000 1001 0010 0100 0000 0010 0001 0100 0111 0111 ???? 0001

any help would be appreciated thanks a million =)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

The binary 4 bit codes are binary-coded decimal numbers.

I think you talk about the Arecibo message, see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arecibo_message

so how would i figure out if this code i have makes a picture?

More information here how you can figure that out: http://www.physics.utah.edu/~cassiday/p1080/lec06.html

The question is how many columns and corresponding rows you should use.



Hint: These are all prime numbers. Are you sure about 4bit binary as that can only represent numbers 0-31.

i read the link that the first reply had on it but i dont understand the significance of prime numbers. could you enlighten me? lol


Primary school maths. Ask a 12 year old. Prime numbers are only divisible by themselves and one. It is thought that by sending primary numbers an inteligent alien species will imediately realise that they are not just detecting random noise but a signal from another inteligent civilization.

Small veto from a mathematician: A prime number is a natural number that has exactly two distinct natural number divisors: 1 and itself. Your definition would allow that 1 is also a prime number, but 1 is by definition not prime.

Hm, I do not know if it needs to be an intelligent civilization. Cicada of the genus Magicicada make use of prime numbers in nature as an evolutionary strategy. But if they could send signals is questionable.

Can maths be different on other planets? Mathematicians say no. But what if the brains of the aliens are different developed, for example only able to see everything double. Then they would have only even number maths.


>>Then they would have only even number maths.

Hmm... That would be odd... ;^>

We as a species start with an understanding of logarithmic counting/progressions.  This is before we can even speak.  Yet, we have to be taught "counting by 1s".

This has been verified by the study of cultures which do not have language for values above 9.  When they were asked the number between 1 and 9, consistently the answer was "3" as in (1,3,9)...

All of this is on a fantastic radio show called RadioLab - http://www.radiolab.org/2009/nov/30/ 


I'm still waiting for the sqrt(-1) period Cicada.....