Ask Ethan #10: Why is the Universe the same everywhere?

“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?

The Beginning of the Universe and the Limit of Knowledge

“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

Inflation, Dark Energy, and the Physics of Spacetime

“Orbiting Earth in spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase beauty, not destroy it!” –Yuri Gagarin Fifty-two years ago today, the first human being left Earth, and we began our journey into outer space. But back in 1961, we didn’t really know how far outer space stretched, or … Read moreInflation, Dark Energy, and the Physics of Spacetime

What Everyone Should Know about the Universe on the eve of 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

From Nothing to You in 10 Sentences

“It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination. It’s a crazy world out there. Be curious.” –Stephen Hawking One of the most existential questions humanity has ever asked is the question of our origins: where do I come from? Inspired by … Read moreFrom Nothing to You in 10 Sentences

The Halloween Horror of the Dark Universe!

“A cosmic mystery of immense proportions, once seemingly on the verge of solution, has deepened and left astronomers and astrophysicists more baffled than ever. The crux … is that the vast majority of the mass of the universe seems to be missing.” –William J. Broad Despite the wondrous, luminous sights of the night sky, we’ve … Read moreThe Halloween Horror of the Dark Universe!

What Happened Before The Big Bang?

“The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.” –Bertolt Brecht One of the most frequent questions I get about the Universe — as a cosmologist — isn’t quite about the Big Bang in and of itself. The Big Bang is a remarkable … Read moreWhat Happened Before The Big Bang?