“Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.” –Dream Hampton Perhaps no word in the English language generates as much misunderstanding as the word theory. In scientific circles, this word has a very specific meaning that’s different from everyday use, and — as a theoretical … Read moreAsk Ethan #17: The Burden of Proof
“Supposedly she’d died, but here she was again–somewhat changed, but you couldn’t kill her. Not when the truest part of her hadn’t even been born.” –Denis Johnson Over the past 100 years, our picture of the Universe has changed dramatically, on both the largest scales and the smallest. On the large-scales, we’ve gone from a … Read moreThe Rise and Fall of Supersymmetry
“…this consensus has been brought about, not by shifts in philosophical preference or by the influence of astrophysical mandarins, but by the pressure of empirical data.” –Steven Weinberg One of the most fundamental questions we could ever ask about all of existence is “What makes up the Universe?” I don’t mean “stars and galaxies,” like … Read moreIs there any particle physics beyond the standard model?
“Science enhances the moral value of life, because it furthers a love of truth and reverence—love of truth displaying itself in the constant endeavor to arrive at a more exact knowledge of the world of mind and matter around us, and reverence, because every advance in knowledge brings us face to face with the mystery … Read moreThe Greatest Unsolved Problem in Theoretical Physics
“Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?” –Stephen Hawking After a long search spanning more than my entire lifetime (so far), the Higgs boson has finally been … Read moreNow that we've got the Higgs, what's next?
“Give me a coin. <Takes Coin.> All right. Uh… heads, I win, tails, you lose. Right? <Flips coin.> Tails, you lose.” –Ralph Kramden All things being equal, you’re well aware that if you flipped a completely fair coin, you’d have a 50% chance of it landing on heads, and a 50% chance of landing on tails … Read moreThe Biggest Firework of them all: The Higgs!