Convincing a Young Scientist that Dark Matter Exists

“The Universe is made mostly of dark matter and dark energy, and we don’t know what either of them is.” –Saul Perlmutter When I was starting out as a graduate student, one of the most exciting (and daunting) tasks facing me was to piece together a scientifically accurate and useful picture of the Universe, including … Read moreConvincing a Young Scientist that Dark Matter Exists

How lucky would Kepler have to be to see us?

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” –Helen Keller If you’ve been paying attention, you heard that the Kepler mission, earlier this week, announced the discovery of 706 candidate planets orbiting stars in its field of view. And … Read moreHow lucky would Kepler have to be to see us?

How many planets are out there? First Results from Kepler!

“We are all captives of the pictures in our head — our belief that the world we have experienced is the world that really exists.” –Walter Lippmann For a long time, humans have wondered about life on other worlds, and about worlds around other stars. Until the 1990s, this was mostly speculation and hope. But … Read moreHow many planets are out there? First Results from Kepler!

“Your Theory Doesn’t Do Everything!” And That’s Okay.

“If we lived on a planet where nothing ever changed, there would be little to do. There would be nothing to figure out. There would be no impetus for science. And if we lived in an unpredictable world, where things changed in random or very complex ways, we would not be able to figure things … Read more“Your Theory Doesn’t Do Everything!” And That’s Okay.