Ask Ethan: Why Did Light Arrive 1.7 Seconds After Gravitational Waves In The Neutron Star Merger? (Synopsis)

“Delay is the deadliest form of denial.” -C. Northcote Parkinson Every massless particle and wave travels at the speed of light when it moves through a vacuum. Over a distance of 130 million light years, the gamma rays and gravitational waves emitted by merging neutron stars arrived offset by a mere 1.7 seconds, an incredible … Read more

Even while the world suffers, investing in science is non-negotiable (Synopsis)

“I am looking at the future with concern, but with good hope.” –Albert Schweitzer Every so often, the argument comes up that science is expendable. That we’re simply investing too much of our resources — too much public money — into an endeavor with no short-term benefits. Meanwhile, there’s suffering of all kinds, from poverty … Read more

Merging Neutron Stars Deliver Deathblow To Dark Matter And Dark Energy Alternatives (Synopsis)

“Dark matter is interesting. Basically, the Universe is heavier than it should be. There’s whole swathes of stuff we can’t account for.” -Talulah Riley One of the most puzzling facts about the Universe is that 95% of the energy in it, in the forms of dark matter and dark energy, are completely invisible, and have … Read more

Dressing Up Science: Richard Feynman And The Costume Parties Of Al Hibbs (Synopsis)

“I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.” -Richard Feynman Scientists have long had a reputation for being uptight, serious, and even killjoy personalities. But 50+ years ago, Richard Feynman was forcing everyone who felt that way to challenge their assumptions. With his brash attitude … Read more

Star Trek: Discovery Goes Psychic & Psychedelic in ‘Lethe’: Season 1, Episode 6 Review (Synopsis)

“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.” -Federico García Lorca In an episode filled with Vulcan mindmelds, Klingon treachery, a spectacular nebula, themes of racial purity, and PTSD, you’d think all the ingredients were there for a spectacular episode of Star Trek: Discovery. Instead, … Read more

Seeing One Example Of Merging Neutron Stars Raises Five Incredible Questions (Synopsis)

“O. Hahn and F. Strassmann have discovered a new type of nuclear reaction, the splitting into two smaller nuclei of the nuclei of uranium and thorium under neutron bombardment. Thus they demonstrated the production of nuclei of barium, lanthanum, strontium, yttrium, and, more recently, of xenon and caesium. It can be shown by simple considerations … Read more