“I wouldn’t know a spacetime continuum or a warp core breach if they got into bed with me.” –Patrick Stewart It’s the end of the week once again, and so it’s time for another Ask Ethan segment! There have been scores of good questions to choose from that were submitted this month alone (and you … Read moreAsk Ethan #11: Why does gravity get weaker with distance?
“Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war that we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living.” –Omar N. Bradley Nuclear physics is one of the most daunting, emotionally charged phrases in all of science. You can hardly say the words without the image … Read moreBinding Energy, Nuclear Physics, and Radiation Poisoning
“Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he’s carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he’s carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you’re drunk.” –Jack Handy The diversity of the world’s animals is one of the most … Read moreWeekend Diversion: The Physics of Flamingos
Farnsworth: “There is it. The edge of the Universe!” Fry: “Far out. So there’s an infinite number of parallel Universes?” Farnsworth: “No, just the two.” Fry: “Oh, well, I’m sure that’s enough.” Bender: “I’m sick of parallel Bender lording his cowboy hat over me!” –Futurama Our existence here in this Universe is something that we … Read moreAre Parallel Universes Real?
“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught.” –Oscar Wilde As many of you know, last weekend I launched a suggestion box here on the site, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the response: about fifty of you have sent something in to … Read moreAsk Ethan #1: Back-to-school advice
“Being told about the effects of climate change is an appeal to our reason and to our desire to bring about change. But to see that Africans are the hardest hit by climate change, even though they generate almost no greenhouse gas, is a glaring injustice, which also triggers anger and outrage over those who … Read moreHow would you figure out whether Global Warming is real? Part 3.
“We make the world we live in and shape our own environment.” –Orison Swett Marden If you had never heard of global warming before, how would you figure out whether it’s real or not? And if it is real, how would you figure out what humanity’s role in it is? To answer this, I’ve decided to … Read moreHow would you figure out whether Global Warming is real? Part 2.
“There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it.” –David Attenborough It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything on this blog about global warming, climate change, or most Earth-based environmental topics in general. After all, I’m a physicist — an astrophysicist … Read moreHow would you figure out whether Global Warming is real? Part 1.
“[S]cience is not a consumption good to be expanded in good times and restricted in bad times. The doing of science as well as the supporting of science is an expression of faith in the future. It would have been possible to have told Newton and Faraday, Maxwell and Einstein, Bohr and Heisenberg that, given … Read moreWhy does Particle Physics matter?
“It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge.” -Enrico Fermi As you probably know, the Large Hadron Collider — site of discovery of the last fundamental particle in the Standard Model, the Higgs Boson — is the most energetic particle accelerator in the history of … Read moreThe Physicist's Dream Machine