“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 When we look out into the Universe, we normally gain information about it by gathering light of various wavelengths. However, there…

“A mouse does not rely on just one hole.” -Plautus When you look at the largest, most powerful optical telescopes in the world, they all have something in common: they all have holes in their central, primary mirrors. This is for a few reasons, including that they’re all reflectors, they all need to focus light…

“Where there is an observatory and a telescope, we expect that any eyes will see new worlds at once.” -Henry David Thoreau With more stories of the Universe having been told this past week at Starts With A Bang, it’s always a thrill to look back, see what we’ve covered and see what thoughts and ideas they’ve…

“Biological diversity is messy. It walks, it crawls, it swims, it swoops, it buzzes. But extinction is silent, and it has no voice other than our own.” -Paul Hawken Looking at the history of life on Earth, the fossil record shows something incontrovertible: in order for new forms of life to rise to dominance, it…

“We find them smaller and fainter, in constantly increasing numbers, and we know that we are reaching into space, farther and farther, until, with the faintest nebulae that can be detected with the greatest telescopes, we arrive at the frontier of the known universe.” -Edwin Hubble If you want to see farther, deeper and at…

The Two Big Bangs (Synopsis)

“These theories were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past.” -Fred Hoyle It’s making headlines every time someone brings it up: a quantum calculation, a new theory or some mathematical evidence proves it once and for all: there…

“It’s becoming clear that in a sense the cosmos provides the only laboratory where sufficiently extreme conditions are ever achieved to test new ideas on particle physics. The energies in the Big Bang were far higher than we can ever achieve on Earth. So by looking at evidence for the Big Bang, and by studying…

“[T]he coin of life has meaning and value no matter what side it lands on. It’s each individual’s choice whether to bet on the outcome or not, but ultimately your coin of life will be spent somehow.” -Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache Coin flips are traditionally the way to settle disputes with two choices and equal…

“I like cappuccino, actually. But even a bad cup of coffee is better than no coffee at all.” -David Lynch Particularly in the dead of winter, most of us enjoy a hot drink, whether it’s coffee, tea, hot chocolate or soup. But if that drink is too hot, your options for cooling it down are…

How to catch a speeding star (Synopsis)

“Most people don’t know what’s happening around them because they’re just speeding through life. And before they know it, they’re just old. So I just try to slow it down.” -Tracy Morgan Travel fast enough through the air, and you’ll exceed the speed of sound. The compressed air in front of you builds up, denser…