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

Ask Ethan: How sure are we that the Universe is 13.8 billion years old? (Synopsis)

“Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend almost all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like.” -Thomas S. Kuhn For all of human history, the biggest questions have fascinated us. Where did the Universe come from? How old is it? And what … Read moreAsk Ethan: How sure are we that the Universe is 13.8 billion years old? (Synopsis)

Ask Ethan: How Many Planets Did NASA’s Kepler Miss? (Synopsis)

“How vast those Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is when compared to them.” -Christiaan Huygens With a field-of-view encompassing 150,000 stars, NASA’s Kepler mission delivered an overwhelming prize when it came to hunting worlds beyond … Read moreAsk Ethan: How Many Planets Did NASA’s Kepler Miss? (Synopsis)

Ask Ethan: How Can Worlds That Never Get Above Freezing Have Liquid Water? (Synopsis)

“Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean. Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.” -Samuel Taylor Coleridge Here on Earth, water can easily exist in all three phases … Read moreAsk Ethan: How Can Worlds That Never Get Above Freezing Have Liquid Water? (Synopsis)

Ask Ethan: If Matter Is Made Of Point Particles, Why Does Everything Have A Size? (Synopsis)

“There’s something about sitting alone in the dark that reminds you how big the world really is, and how far apart we all are. The stars look like they’re so close, you could reach out and touch them. But you can’t. Sometimes things look a lot closer than they are.” -Kami Garcia When we consider … Read moreAsk Ethan: If Matter Is Made Of Point Particles, Why Does Everything Have A Size? (Synopsis)

Ask Ethan: How Can A Nation Have Nuclear Power Without The Danger Of Nuclear Weapons? (Synopsis)

“We have to understand the ubiquity of energy in everything we do. Energy is core to our economy and it brings with it environmental challenges, and it’s core to our security challenges.” -Ernest Moniz In 1953, then-President Eisenhower, in the aftermath of World War II and with rising tensions between the USA and the Soviet … Read moreAsk Ethan: How Can A Nation Have Nuclear Power Without The Danger Of Nuclear Weapons? (Synopsis)

Ask Ethan: Can Normal Stars Make Elements Heavier (And Less Stable) Than Iron? (Synopsis)

“Comrades, this man has a nice smile, but he’s got iron teeth.” -Andrei A. Gromyko When you have a star, perhaps its most defining characteristic is that it fuses lighter elements into heavier ones, releasing energy. While all stars fuse hydrogen into helium, the more massive ones will undergo helium fusion, with the most massive … Read moreAsk Ethan: Can Normal Stars Make Elements Heavier (And Less Stable) Than Iron? (Synopsis)

Ask Ethan: What science experiments will open the door to the future? (Synopsis)

“Imagination makes us aware of limitless possibilities. How many of us haven’t pondered the concept of infinity or imagined the possibility of time travel? In one of her poems, Emily Bronte likens imagination to a constant companion, but I prefer to think of it as a built-in entertainment system.” -Alexandra Adornetto The dream of futuristic … Read moreAsk Ethan: What science experiments will open the door to the future? (Synopsis)

Ask Ethan: Where Does Quantum Uncertainty Come From? (Synopsis)

“In the future, maybe quantum mechanics will teach us something equally chilling about exactly how we exist from moment to moment of what we like to think of as time.” -Richard K. Morgan It’s absolutely true that, in quantum mechanics, there are certain pairs of properties that we simply can’t measure simultaneously. Measure the position … Read moreAsk Ethan: Where Does Quantum Uncertainty Come From? (Synopsis)