Star Trek: Discovery Is Smart-Sounding Scientific Nonsense, Season 1, Episode 4 Recap (Synopsis)

“You were always a good officer. Until you weren’t.” -Saru, from Star Trek: Discovery Science is full of great ideas and brilliant discoveries, and some of those more recent ones have made their way into the popular consciousness. TED talks, popular blogs and online magazines, and Facebook pages and internet memes have helped disseminate bits … Read more

LIGO-VIRGO Detects The First Three-Detector Gravitational Wave (Synopsis)

“Einstein’s gravitational theory, which is said to be the greatest single achievement of theoretical physics, resulted in beautiful relations connecting gravitational phenomena with the geometry of space; this was an exciting idea.” -Richard Feynman For over a century after the publication of General Relativity, it was uncertain whether gravitational waves were real or not. It … Read more

Beyond Black Holes: Could LIGO Have Detected Merging Neutron Stars For The First Time? (Synopsis)

“Presently thought to be the most powerful explosions in nature… their sources have only recently been localized by observations of associated afterglows in X-rays, visible light, and radio waves, delayed in that order.” -Richard Matzner, on the dictionary entry for Gamma Ray Burst It seems like an eternity ago, but it’s been under two years … Read more

Milky Way Houses Up To 100 Million Black Holes, With Big Implications For LIGO (Synopsis)

“Our first priority was making sure we weren’t fooling ourselves.” -Keith Riles, LIGO team member When LIGO announced their first discovery of a black hole-black hole merger, it came as a surprise to almost everyone. The shocking part wasn’t that LIGO had seen merging black holes, but that they were discovered to be so massive. … Read more

Ripples In Spacetime: From Einstein To LIGO And Beyond (Synopsis)

“The years of searching in the dark for a truth that one feels but cannot express, the intense desire and the alternations of confidence and misgiving until one breaks through to clarity and understanding, are only known to him who has himself experienced them.” -Albert Einstein In 2015, for the very first time, gravitational waves … Read more

Universe’s Largest Black Hole May Have An Explanation At Last (Synopsis)

“Ultramassive black holes — that is, black holes with masses exceeding 10 billion solar masses — are probably not rare; several and even dozens of these colossal black holes may exist.” -Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo The largest black hole in the Universe was a shocker when it was first discovered. At 40 billion solar masses, it certainly is … Read more