“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.” –Dale Carnegie Our new Ask Ethan segment has been really … Read moreAsk Ethan #10: Why is the Universe the same everywhere?
“On a cosmic scale, our life is insignificant, yet this brief period when we appear in the world is the time in which all meaningful questions arise.” –Paul Ricoeur Ask anyone who’s looked up at a dark sky on a clear, moonless night, and you’ll immediately hear tales about how incomprehensibly vast the Universe is. … Read moreWhat does the Universe really look like?
“The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.” –Aleister Crowley But the Universe itself experiences continual growth, constant change, and new experiences all the … Read moreThe Fundamental Constants Behind Our Universe
“No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” –Alan Watts “They do not see what lies ahead, when Sun has faded and Moon is dead.” –J.R.R. Tolkien One of the most amazing facts about the Universe is that, despite only having spent a few hundred years … Read moreThe Far Future of our Solar System
“Despite its name, the big bang theory is not really a theory of a bang at all. It is really only a theory of the aftermath of a bang.” –Alan Guth So you finally understand it. The Big Bang tells us that the Universe was hotter, denser, and expanding at a faster rate in the … Read moreThe Beginning of the Universe and the Limit of Knowledge
“Much later, when I discussed the problem with Einstein, he remarked that the introduction of the cosmological term was the biggest blunder he ever made in his life. But this “blunder,” rejected by Einstein, is still sometimes used by cosmologists even today, and the cosmological constant denoted by the Greek letter Λ rears its ugly … Read moreWhat The Entire Universe Is Made Of, Thanks to Planck!
“Scientific discovery and scientific knowledge have been achieved only by those who have gone in pursuit of it without any practical purpose whatsoever in view.” –Max Planck Tomorrow morning, at 8 AM my time, the press conference that cosmologists have spent the past decade waiting for will finally happen, and the Planck satellite — the … Read moreWhat Everyone Should Know about the Universe on the eve of Planck
“The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out – there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday.” –Richard Feynman Here you are, a human being, a grand Universe of atoms that have organized themselves into simple monomers, assembled together into giant … Read moreAn Atom in the Universe
“The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us—there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, or falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.” –Carl … Read moreWhy the Universe needs Dark Matter (and not MOND) in one graph
“Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it.” – Samuel Johnson I have a six-sided die. I’m going to roll it ten times, and record each roll. And when I’m done, I’m going to have an incredibly rare, bet-you-can’t-reproduce-it result! … Read moreThe Last Refuge of a Science-Denying Scoundrel