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How Will You Talk to the Martians? (Dec, 1947)

How Will You Talk to the Martians?

How can thought be exchanged? Maybe they haven’t got mouths!

BY WILLY LEY

BEFORE long Earthmen are going to Mars. On Mars they may find civilized beings of one form or another. These beings will have a language utterly different from those of earth. How can there be talk? How can there be understanding? How can communication be begun?

Here lies a special problem.

The first suggestion of how we might communicate with other worlds was made just one century ago. It was not made by some wild-eyed crackpot, but by one of the very great men in the history of science. He was the top mathematician of his time and possibly of all time—Karl Friedrich Gauss.

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